Facebook advertising revenue soars 50% to US$11bn, as Zuckerberg claims the business had ‘strong start’ to 2018

Facebook’s advertising revenue has climbed to US$11.795bn in the first quarter of 2018 – up 50% from the US$7.857bn it reported in the corresponding period last year – the company has revealed in its unaudited results.

Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg fleetingly acknowledged the recent blowback following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, saying: “Despite facing important challenges, our community and business are off to a strong start in 2018. 

Zuckerberg:”Thank you all for being on this journey with us”

“We are taking a broader view of our responsibility and investing to make sure our services are used for good. But we also need to keep building new tools to help people connect, strengthen our communities, and bring the world closer together.”

Last month Facebook Australia’s managing director Will Easton took to the stage at a Starcom event to apologise to Australian brands, advertisers and marketers for letting them down.

Easton assured the crowd of marketers and media that the Cambridge Analytica scandal had no impact on Facebook’s advertising platform.

“In terms of the Australian market which is equally as important to all of us, we’ve been in close contact with many of you over the last week, both from an agency, advertiser and association perspective. I actually want to take this opportunity to thank people for their support and their collaboration through some pretty challenging times.

“From an advertiser perceptive, I think probably the first point to make is that Cambridge Analytica has no impact on Facebook advertising platform. We’re pretty clear about that,” Easton said in March.

Facebook’s first quarter results for 2018 also showed total revenue was US$11.966bn (up 49% from 2017’s US$8.032bn), thanks to an additional US$171m in ‘payments and other fees’ (down 2% from US$175m last year).

Facebook’s financial highlights for the three months to 31 March, 2018 (Click to enlarge)

Its costs and expenses also climbed 49% from US$4.705bn in the first quarter of 2017 to US$6.517bn this year.

The company also revealed mobile advertising revenue now accounted for 91% of total advertising revenue, up from 85% in the prior corresponding period.

Facebook’s headcount has also climbed 48% to 27,742.

The company also claimed daily active users (1.45bn) and monthly active users (2.20bn) were both up 13% year-on-year.

Facebook’s unaudited statements of income (Click to enlarge)

In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg said the internet giant was now taking a broader view of its responsibility.

“Our focus in 2018 is to keep people safe, and to keep building the experiences people expect from us,” he said. “We are taking a broader view of our responsibility – to not only give people powerful tools but to make sure these tools are used for good. At the same time, we also need to keep building new services that bring people together in meaningful new ways. That’s what makes Facebook so important to so many people, and that’s our responsibility too.”


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