Published: Fri, February 01, 2019
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Facebook Surges After Big Q4 Earnings Beat (NASDAQ:FB)

Facebook Surges After Big Q4 Earnings Beat (NASDAQ:FB)

Total fourth-quarter revenue rose 30 percent to $16.9 billion from $12.97 billion, compared to analysts' average estimate of $16.4 billion.

Facebook Stories ads and Instagram shopping.

Facebook is reportedly working to combine Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram messaging into a single, unified platform, but don't expect that system to hit anytime soon: CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that the project - "to whatever term we end up doing this" - would likely not show up until 2020 and beyond. In response to a question during the earnings call regarding Stories ad adoption, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg reported two million advertisers were now using Stories ads - but did not clarify if those were Facebook Stories or Instagram Stories ad units.

He said more than the commercial benefits of the chat integration between the apps, he was concerned about data encryption.

"The bottom line is that with more than a quarter of the world using FB every day, we think advertisers have no choice but to follow their customers", Macquarie Research analysts said. "I think it's the direction that we should be going in with more things in the future", he told analysts.

User growth across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

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China slowdown weighs on revenue growth at internet giant Alibaba
On a call with investors and analysts, Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang acknowledged the external pressures of the economic climate. Chinese consumers are still fundamentally very strong and consumption is going to grow over the next 5-10 years, he added.

Facebook said Wednesday that quarterly profit climbed to an all-time record $6.9 billion as it boosted its global user base despite scandals that have dented the leading social network's image.

Of the 1.52 billion global users during the fourth quarter, 186 million were located in the USA and Canada.

The move, which is meant to boost the user engagement on the social networking platform at a time when growth has slowed down for the company, has raised several security and privacy concerns from users around the world.

Revenues topped analysts' forecasts at $16.9 billion and earnings per share came in at $2.38, well above Wall Street's expectations of $2.19. "We're going to get to a point soon where people feel like Facebook is about communities as much as it's about your friends and family - where nearly everyone is in a group that is meaningful to them and that community is a central part of their experience".

Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media's General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land.

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