Published: Sat, November 03, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Facebook's Zuckerberg bets big on "stories"

Facebook's Zuckerberg bets big on

Total revenue jumped 33% to $13.73 billion for the three months ending in September, but fell short of analysts' expectations.

"It is also no surprise that private messaging and Stories are the current growth drivers for the business". Daily active users climbed nine percent year-on-year to 1.49 billion on average and monthly active users have climbed 10 percent to 2.27 billion. Its monthly active users reached 2.27 billion.

It also was only an incremental increase over the previous quarter.

That slowdown reflects a stagnation in the growth of Facebook's monthly active users, which grew by 9.6% in the quarter. Although, its earnings per share for the quarter was well above estimates - $1.76 compared to $1.47 expected. They are still slowing in this quarter, but they are still going up, which is a good sign for Facebook.

It doesn't take much to send Facebook (FB) shares higher these days, as today's response to earnings demonstrates.

The social media giant has a group of products that people love and really enjoy using but, as Zuckerberg said in a call with analysts, it is taking time for the business to catch up with community growth.

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"We expect Facebook's revenue growth to remain robust, supported by multiple growth drivers", Wedbush analysts wrote in a research note on Friday, ahead of Facebook's Q3 earnings.

"Overall, given all the challenges Facebook has faced this year, this is a decent earnings report", said eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson.

The report comes after a disappointing second quarter. "Facebook has had more than its share of mishaps over the past year, with data scandals and accusations of bias, but this too shall pass", Clement Thibault, a senior analyst at Investing.com, said by email.

Variety reports that Facebook has seen user growth slow in the last quarter in both the USA and Europe, the number of U.S. users has remained flat while the company has actually begun to lose users in Europe.

Some of these same themes were reiterated on Tuesday's earnings call. In a shift from Facebook's roots, Zuckerberg acknowledged that people don't always want to share publicly. And new Facebook users often live in less-lucrative advertising markets.

On the messaging front, Zuckerberg said, more photos, videos and links are being shared on WhatsApp and Messenger than on social networks.

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A few years back, media organisations rushed to build major video presence on the platform, diverting staff and resources, on the back of figures showing vast audiences clicking to view.

A growing share of its revenue came from Instagram, the photo-sharing app that Facebook bought in 2012, and from the "rest of the world" outside the United States of America and Europe. Almost 30 million users' phone numbers and email addresses were accessed by hackers.

It has had to grapple the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal new data protections for users in Europe.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Tuesday that his team had already laid a vision for the future of Facebook.

Mr. Zuckerberg added that he believes the company is at least a year away from upgrading its internal systems to the point that it can prevent misinformation and abuse "at the level we want".

And even then, Facebook may never be fixed.

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Total (LSE: 524773.L - news) revenue rose 33% to $13.73bn - on track with forecasts.

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