Thursday 29 October 2020 8:42 pm

Facebook revenue jumps as pandemic drives up traffic

Facebook today posted better-than-expected revenue for the third quarter as higher user numbers during the coronavirus pandemic helped drive up revenue.

The social media platform posted revenue of $21.5bn (£16.6bn) in the three-month period, up from $17.7bn last year. Net income rose from $6.1bn to $7.8bn.

The bulk of the revenue was generated by advertising as more businesses tapped into the app’s digital ad tools.

The growth came in spite of continued coronavirus-related uncertainty and an unprecedented advertising boycott in July.

The boycott, which garnered support from some of the world’s largest brands, including Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Unilever, came in response to the spread of hate speech on the platform.

Despite this, Facebook has enjoyed higher user numbers as people flock to the site during the pandemic.

The site recorded 1.82bn daily active users on average in September. This was slightly lower than the peaks at the height of the pandemic in the second quarter, but still up 12 per cent year on year.

“We had a strong quarter as people and businesses continue to rely on our services to stay connected and create economic opportunity during these tough times,” said founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

“We continue to make significant investments in our products and hiring in order to deliver new and meaningful experiences for our community around the world.”

Facebook said it expected ad revenue to be higher in the fourth quarter thanks to increased spend during the festive period.

However, the firm said it expected “significant targeting and measurement headwinds” in 2021, including through platform changes such as iOS 14 and the looming threat of regulation.