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Newstalk

21.18 1 Nov 2017


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Facebook's shares have jumped in after-hours trading after it reported a 49% jump in quarterly advertising revenue to levels above $10bn (€11.4bn) for the first time.

The US-listed social network's results for the three months to September smashed market forecasts on several fronts as it continues to fight battles on paid political adverts, the safety of users and combating extremism.

It reported revenue of $10.3bn - of which $10.1bn was from advertising. It said mobile advertising - a source of concern among investors in yesteryear - made up 88% of ad revenues.

Profits jumped 79% to $4.7bn while the closely-watched user figures also cheered investors with monthly active users rising 16% on the same period last year to more than 2 billion.

Shares - up 60% this year - were up almost 3% in after-hours trading on the Nasdaq, hitting new heights above €210 per share.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said: "Our community continues to grow and our business is doing well.

"But none of that matters if our services are used in ways that don't bring people closer together.

"We're serious about preventing abuse on our platforms. We're investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability.

"Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits."

Although he did not directly reference the storm in the US over alleged Russian meddling in the US presidential election via Facebook, his comments were seen as evidence of a commitment to learning lessons.

The company had earlier disclosed that people in Russia had bought at least 3,000 political adverts and published thousands of posts via Facebook that were seen by up to 126 million Americans before and after Donald Trump's election win last year.

Russia has denied any suggestion of meddling in the democratic process.

The US Senate Judiciary Committee has been holding a series of hearings on the issue, with Google and Twitter also facing questions on their advertising policies and being accused of failing to act.

One Democrat lawmaker on the panel called for congressional action to be considered to combat, what she called, "the start of cyberwarfare" against American democracy.


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