Achieving revenue of $12.9 billion and profit of $4.27 billion, Facebook has exceeded analyst expectations for its Q4 2017 earnings, with monthly active users reaching 2.13 billion.
While mobile advertising revenue represented 88% of revenue in Q3 2017, it was 89% in Q4 2017, which the company attributed to the holiday shopping season, advertisers creating mobile-first ads, and 25 million new business profiles joining Instagram.
The feat was achieved despite a drop in time spent on the social network, a stat that has troubled investors and analysts.
"Some Facebook users are possibly feeling a sense of fatigue on the platform, but it's critical to understand what's causing that fatigue," said Avtar Ram Singh, the head of strategy at Falcon Agency. "It's the sensationalised news articles, the memes, the videos that are 'manufactured to go viral' based on stretching the truth as thin as possible and playing on hyperbole, the incredibly "in your face" and poorly adapted advertising, and the massive sense of the newsfeed becoming incredibly impersonal."
Singh believes that Facebook is taking the right steps to cull the newsfeed.
"I'm excited by this change and direction to be honest, mostly because Facebook is one of those companies that hits its targets and objectives with a sense of incredible obsession. So I'd back them to overcome this challenge too," he added.
This is reflected in Facebook's recent features and policies changes, wherein
- Engagement baiting has been demoted,
- Editorial rights will battle fake news,
- Ad formats that hurt the user experience were withdrawn.
The company has also been hard at work to remove hate speech in order to protect the security and integrity of the platform, with Mark Zuckerberg informing investors and analysts that Facebook has:
- A team working across community ops, online ops, and our security efforts.
- Technology that detects suicidal posts, helping first responders reach people quickly,
- Built AI systems to flag suspicious behavior and remove terrorist content.
Zuckerberg claims that the AI systems implemented can remove content related to terror groups faster than users can report them, with a 99% success rate thus far.