Despite crises and criticism: Zuckerberg’s Facebook is increasing user numbers and sales

Better than the call
:Facebook increases user numbers and revenue despite many crises

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  • Andrey Sokolov
Despite massive criticism Facebook can win more users.

Despite massive criticism Facebook can win more users.


AFP / Joel Saget

Although Facebook has been slipping from one crisis to the next for months, the business of the world’s largest online network obviously does not suffer as a result. Even in Europe, the number of users jumped again at the end of the year, after a slight decline. The numbers also astonished the experts. “Whatever the public perception of Facebook currently is, the company itself is doing better than ever,” the technology blog The Verge said.

As a reminder, it came out last year that the British company Cambridge Analytica had come to information from up to 50 million Facebook users and apparently used the data to influence the US election in favor of Donald Trump. Facebook also admitted that it had given other companies such as Netflix, Spotify and Microsoft access to user data without the users knowing.

During the year, four large US government investors called for the retirement of Mark Zuckerberg as the Group’s Chief Adviser. Activists and politicians pleaded at least for stricter rules in dealing with social networks, some even called Facebook smash. With the numbers behind him, Zuckerberg is once again a successful businessman. “Facebook’s worst year was the best when it came to business,” the New York Times wrote.

Number of monthly Facebook users increases to 2.32 billion

In the Christmas quarter, Facebook increased its revenue year on year by 30 percent to 16.9 billion dollars (14.8 billion euros). Bottom line, Facebook generated a record profit of just under $ 6.9 billion last quarter. A comparison with the $ 4.27 billion profit a year ago is not meaningful, because at that time the one-off tax on foreign profits in the wake of the US tax reform pushed the surplus. Facebook had $ 41 billion in cash at the end of the quarter.

Marc Zuckerberg speaks at the developer conference in San Jose. Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp are to be merged.

Marc Zuckerberg speaks at the developer conference in San Jose. Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp are to be merged.



The number of active users at least once a month grew within three months in the usual pace by about 50 million to about 2.32 billion. It is estimated that around 2.7 billion people now use at least one app from the group, which also includes WhatsApp and Instagram.

The group announced that it will put much more emphasis on this number in the future, instead of the previous information on the user base of the core Facebook platform. WhatsApp and Instagram each have more than a billion users. Mark Zuckerberg confirmed plans to bring the chat services WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger and the communication feature of the photo platform Instagram on a common technical level.

Facebook hires Tino Krause as new boss for business in Germany

The use of encryption should be extended, he said in a conference call with analysts. At the moment, Facebook only uses end-to-end encryption for WhatsApp by default, which makes content visible only to the sender and recipient in plain text. The considerations are still at an early stage, it is more of a project for the year 2020 and later. Especially in Europe, privacy advocates see a pooling of data from different services as a problem.

At the same time Facebook presented Tino Krause, who comes from the agency Mediacom, as the new boss for the business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The post was vacant since Marianne Bullwinkel was in the spring of 2017 to competitors Snap.

Facebook also warned again that revenue growth is likely to slow this year. For the users of the so-called stories would be more popular, especially in Instagram, in the pictures and videos for a day for friends can be published. On Instagram, about 500 million users accessed the stories. However, this feature is not as well developed with advertising as the Facebook newsfeed on the main platform.

Facebook had 42 percent more employees by the end of the year

Meanwhile, however, two million of Facebook’s total of seven million advertisers switched to Stories formats. The company also announced that investment in new products in areas such as e-commerce and payment systems should open up new revenue streams.

Facebook had 35,587 employees by the end of the year – 42 percent more than a year earlier. Among other things, the online network had hired many new employees to delete unauthorized content. (with BLZ)