- Facebook earned $US9.2 ($AU12) billion in the third quarter, up from $US7.8 ($AU10) billion last year.
- That’s more than analysts expected, even as Facebook faces controversy an internal document leak.
- The company made most of its money from advertising revenue, which it says might be affected by a recent Apple iOS update and wider economy issues.
Facebook earned $US9.2 ($AU12) billion in profit for the third quarter, up from $US7.8 ($AU10) billion last year – beating analyst expectations – despite being embroiled in controversy over recently leaked internal documents.
It hauled in $US3.22 ($AU4) per share, better than what analysts predicted at $US3.19 ($AU4) per share, reported CNBC.
According to its quarterly results report released Monday, the social media company’s revenue rose to $US29 ($AU39) billion in the three months leading up to September 30, compared to $US21.5 ($AU29) billion last year. Most of its revenue is derived from advertising, which is up 33% year over year.
That’s despite Facebook saying it faces “continued headwinds” from a privacy update to Apple’s iOS 14 operating system that requires app developers to ask for permission to track users.
The social media company’s operating chief, Sheryl Sandberg, said on Monday that the change makes it harder for Facebook to target ads to users and that the company will have to overhaul its targeting and optimizing systems, per CNBC.
Some advertisers have also started spending less because of a global supply chain crisis and labor shortages, she added.
Additionally, Facebook’s statement warned of “macroeconomic and COVID-related factors” affecting its fourth quarter earnings.
The statement made no mention of the backlash it received from a bombshell leak by whistleblower Frances Haugen.
Haugen, a data scientist who worked on Facebook’s team fighting misinformation, shared a set of internal documents to news organizations earlier this month. In analyzing the documents, these media outlets found that Facebook failed to counter hate speech and prioritized profit over user safety.
Because of the leak, Facebook’s ability to moderate dangerous factions online and curb misinformation has also come under scrutiny by a Congress investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack.
In response to the document dump, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on an investor call on Monday that Facebook was “seeing a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company.”
“The reality is that we have an open culture that encourages discussion and research on our work so we can make progress on many complex issues that are not specific to just us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Facebook highlighted that it’s forging ahead with its “metaverse” concept, which focuses on using augmented and virtual reality to let people interact in a digital environment. It expects the project to cut into projected profits to the tune of around $US10 ($AU13) billion.