Despite an ongoing ad boycott and the pall of the pandemic, Facebook still managed to beat analysts’ revenue expectations during the second quarter of the year.
Although modest by Facebook’s standards, total revenue still grew by 11% during the period to reach about $18.7 billion.
Make no mistake, the tech titan said business has been profoundly impacted by the pandemic.
“We are facing a period of unprecedented uncertainty in our business outlook,” Facebook said in its earnings statement. “We expect our business performance will be impacted by issues beyond our control, including the duration and efficacy of shelter-in-place orders, the effectiveness of economic stimuli around the world, and the fluctuations of currencies relative to the U.S. dollar.”
Throughout the quarter, usership and engagement remained strong as homebound consumers continued to rely on digital platforms to pass the time.
Average daily active users reached 1.79 billion in June, while monthly active users reached 2.7 billion, both were up 12%, year-over-year.
More recently, Facebook said it is seeing signs of normalization in user growth and engagement as shelter-in-place measures have eased around the world, particularly in developed markets where Facebook’s penetration is higher.
Looking forward, however, as shelter-in-place restrictions continue to ease, the tech titan said it expects the number of Facebook DAUs and MAUs to be flat or slightly down in most regions in the third quarter, compared to the second quarter.
During the third quarter, the company expects full quarter year-over-year ad revenue to be roughly similar to its July performance.
In part, Facebook said this was due to the impact of advertisers pausing spend on its platforms related to the #StopHateForProfit
Along with the boycott and the pandemic, Facebook is facing threats of regulation from lawmakers.
During a hearing hosted by the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee on Wednesday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) suggested Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram should never have been allowed, and that the time had come to break off the app as a separate business entity.
Later in the hearing, asked by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) how many rivals Facebook has “copied,” Zuckerberg said he couldn’t say.
In response to accusations of monopolizing the ad industry, Zuckerberg pointed out that for every dollar spent on U.S. advertising, Facebook only takes about 10 cents.Asked about the ongoing #StopHateForProfit ad boycott, Zuckerberg said: “We’re very focused on fighting against election interference and hate speech,” adding that Facebook has “build really sophisticated systems” to address both challenges.