Facebook grows ad sales by 50%

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 26 April 2018

Facebook has reported huge surges in advertising revenue and user numbers in the first quarter of 2018.

Advertising revenue grew 50% to US$11.80 billion when compared to the same period a year ago, while the number of daily and monthly users both grew by 13% to 1.45 billion (daily) and 2.2 billion (monthly).

Facebook’s financial performance exceeded market forecasts.

The performance was marginally better than the previous quarter, where year-on-year ad revenue was up 49%. The operating margin is up to 46% from 41% a year ago.

It’s important to note the Cambridge Analytica crisis broke towards the end of the quarter and could take some time to have a material impact, if at all, on the world’s largest social media network.

Almost all of Facebook’s advertising revenue, 91%, is from mobile advertising, a year-on-year increase from 85%.

Another area of growth is the company’s headcount, which increased by 48% to 27,742. In the past year, Facebook hired thousands of people to strengthen its review process and capacity.

"Despite facing important challenges, our community and business are off to a strong start in 2018," Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.

"We are taking a broader view of our responsibility and investing to make sure our services are used for good. But we also need to keep building new tools to help people connect, strengthen our communities, and bring the world closer together."

Facebook noted that it expects European user growth to stall when the EU's GDPR regulations come into effect on 25 May.

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