Bottom line: After 2018 turned out to be its most controversy-filled year ever, one might imagine that the numerous scandals affected Facebook’s bottom line—but they didn’t. The social network beat Wall Street expectations, bringing in record profit during the final three months of last year.
Cambridge Analytica, congressional hearings, bugs, and numerous privacy issues didn’t hit Facebook in the pocket during Q4. The company brought in $16.9 billion in revenue, up 30 percent year-over-year and beating analysts’ predictions of $16.39 billion. Its $6.9 billion profit, meanwhile, marked a 61 percent YoY increase.
Even its user numbers, which some thought would fall in the wake of the #deleteFacebook campaign, were strong. Monthly users jumped 2.2 percent from the previous quarter to 2.32 billion, while daily active users hit 1.52 billion, a 2 percent QoQ lift. That means Facebook saw an increased growth rate in Q4 compared to Q3, but it was slower than one year earlier.
Looking at its entire family of products, 2.7 billion people now use Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, or Facebook each month, while two billion people use at least one of these platforms every day.
"Our community and business continue to grow," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "We've fundamentally changed how we run our company to focus on the biggest social issues, and we're investing more to build new and inspiring ways for people to connect."
Zuckerberg also confirmed plans to integrate all the company's messaging services—Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger—so they can chat with each other. He said the move is "a 2020 thing or beyond."
Shares in Facebook were up 10% in after-hours trading yesterday following the earnings result, despite the cash-for-access controversy it's currently mired in.