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Facebook is going through its worst period since the site existed, with one controversy after another leading to the #deletefacebook campaign. It's easy to imagine that all the bad press would be reflected in the company’s bottom line, but no: the social network is as successful as ever.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal, Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before Congress, revelations about the ‘growth at any cost’ mentality, and accusations that it played a part in spreading hate speech in Myanmar have all seen Facebook’s image take a hammering recently. But the firm’s Q1 2018 financial report shows that its earnings haven't been affected, yet. Revenue was up 49 percent year-over-year to $11.97 billion, beating analysts estimates of $11.41 billion. Ad revenue made up most of that money—$11.8 billion—91 percent of which was from mobile.
Facebook’s net income was just as impressive during the last quarter, reaching $4.98 billion, which is 63 percent higher compared to one year ago. Earnings per share were $1.69, above Wall Street’s expectations of $1.35.
While some famous names and companies have abandoned Facebook recently, the site’s number of monthly active users keeps on growing. It now stands at 2.2 billion, up 13 percent from a year earlier. Daily users are also up, to 1.45 billion.
Additionally, Facebook now hires more staff than ever before. Its 27,742 employees represent a 48 percent increase compared to the year before. The all-important Average Revenue Per User, meanwhile, reached $5.53, up YoY but down from the last quarter.
It's worth noting that the Cambridge Analytica story did break close to the end of the first quarter—March 16—so there’s a chance that its effect could be more noticable in the Q2 2018 report.
"We have a responsibility to keep our community safe and secure, and we're going to invest heavily to do that," Zuckerberg said on a conference call with analysts. "At the same time, we also have a responsibility to keep moving forward."
Facebook’s stock was up 7 percent on the back of the report.