Facebook shakes off controversies with strong financial results

File photo dated 25/3/2018 of the logo for Facebook, as the company has played down the importance of a patent application li
File photo dated 25/3/2018 of the logo for Facebook, as the company has played down the importance of a patent application linked to technology that could predict a user's future location.

Facebook put aside a series of recent controversies to beat expectations in its latest round of financial results.

The social network’s revenue for the three months ending on December 31 was 16.9 billion dollars (£12.8 billion), up 30% on the 12.9 billion (£9.8 billion) reported in the same period last year.

Despite ongoing scrutiny over the company’s data and business practices, profits were up 61% to 6.8 billion dollars (£5.1 billion).

Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said: “Our community and business continue to grow.

“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.”

Despite on-going concerns over the firm’s data policies, Facebook said the number of monthly active users was up 9% on this time last year, reaching 2.32 billion people.

The news comes as the company deals with its latest scandal – the use of a market research app that saw the company pay users to allow Facebook to access highly personal data on their devices.

The incident left the company at odds with Apple, who withdrew Facebook’s enterprise certificates linked to the software – which are used to operate in-development apps – over the incident.

The company has also been questioned over reported plans to merge the messaging features of its app family – which includes Instagram and WhatsApp.

Facebook said it now estimates that around 2.7 billion people use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger each month, with two billion people using at least one of those apps every day.

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