Facebook hit 2.91 billion monthly active users last quarter, up 6% from the year earlier, and reported mixed numbers and a full year outlook that was below expectations.
Revenue of $29.1 billion was a hair below Wall Street estimates. Earnings per share of $3.22 were a beat.
“We made good progress this quarter and our community continues to grow,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. “I’m excited about our roadmap, especially around creators, commerce, and helping to build the metaverse.”
The company acknowledged a hit form Appl’s new iOS privacy feature that allows iPhone users to opt out of receiving targeted advertising. Specifically it requires app users to actively opt-in to being tracked across other apps and websites, which helps advertisers deliver more targeted adds. It’s thrown the digital ad market for a loop, with Snap the first out to report a bigger than expected hit from the shift in its quarterly results last week.
Facebook has separately been rebranding itself through its focus on VR and AR as a so-called “Metaverse” company with stories out recently that it will change its corporate name to reflect that. No word on that or on the negative press of late. Zuckerberg is holding a conference call with investors at 5 pm ET.
The has been engulfed in a media storm jumpstarted by a whistleblower and a series of recent WSJ exposes called The Facebook Files — followed by a thrashing in other leading publications for its dangerous impact on young people, public discourse, politics and more. The whistleblower Frances Haugen testified on Capitol Hill earlier this month and took questions from lawmakers in the U.K. today on the company’s negligence.
At issue in the multiple reports is the fact that FB’s own internal data showed harm, that harm was known and flagged internally, that the company could have taken steps to address it but repeatedly put profits and engagement on its service over the public good. The newest load of leaked documents showed how the platform allowed misinformation, was swayed by political considerations and ignored calls from many employees to clean things up.
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