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Facebook Profit Escalates with No Major Impact from Russia and it’s Advertisements

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Facebook Profit
Facebook Profit escalates declares CEO of Facebook. Pixabay.
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United States, November 2: Facebook reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue on Wednesday as it pushed further into video advertising, showing no sign of financial damage from the controversy over how Russia used the social network in an attempt to sway voters in the 2016 U.S. election.

The company’s shares, which hit a record earlier in the day, initially rose in after-hours trading, but later fell into negative territory. They have gained almost 60 percent this year.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg condemned Russia’s attempts to influence last year’s election through Facebook posts designed to sow division, and repeated his pledge to ramp up spending significantly to increase the social network’s security, something he said on Wednesday would affect profits.

“What they did is wrong, and we are not going to stand for it,” Zuckerberg said of the Russians, on a conference call with analysts.

Facebook is at the center of a political storm in the United States for the ways it handles paid political ads and allows the spread of false news stories. U.S. lawmakers have threatened tougher regulation and fired questions at Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch in hearings this week.

ALSO READ : Facebook does not Hire Journalists says Sheryl Sandberg 

Facebook, in a series of disclosures over two months, has said that people in Russia bought at least 3,000 U.S. political ads and published another 80,000 Facebook posts that were seen by as many as 126 million Americans over two years. Russia denies any meddling.

Facebook’s total advertising revenue rose 49 percent in the third quarter to $10.14 billion, about 88 percent of which came from mobile ads.

Analysts on average had expected total ad revenue of $9.71 billion, according to data and analytics firm FactSet.

Facebook in the third quarter gave advertisers for the first time the ability to run ads in standalone videos, outside the Facebook News Feed, and the company is seeing good early results, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told analysts on a conference call.

“Video is exploding, and mobile video advertising is a big opportunity,” Sandberg said.

More than 70 percent of ad breaks up to 15 seconds long were viewed to completion, most with the sound on, she said.

The 49 percent increase in total ad sales in the latest quarter compares with a 47 percent rise in the prior quarter and a 51 percent jump in the first quarter.

Facebook has been warning for more than a year about reaching a limit in “ad load”, or the number of ads the company can feature in users’ pages before crowding their News Feed.

Advertisers seem unfazed, though, spending heavily as the social network continues to attract users.

The nearly 50 percent jump in ad revenue “is phenomenal, especially when for the past few quarters they’ve been trying to bring that expectation way, way down. Yet it keeps going up,” Tigress Financial Partners analyst Ivan Feinseth said.

Of the Russia scandal enveloping Facebook publicly, Feinseth said: “In the bigger picture, I don’t think it’s a really big factor.”

Facebook Profit
Mark Zuckerberg repeated his pledge to ramp up spending significantly to increase the social network’s security which would affect Facebook profit.Wikimedia.

The company’s performance was strong in comparison with smaller social media firms Snap Inc and Twitter, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said.

“Facebook grew revenues by $3.3 billion year-over-year for the quarter. This is more than Twitter and Snapchat generate combined for the full year,” he said.

Facebook said about 2.07 billion people were using its service monthly as of Sept. 30, up 16 percent from a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected 2.06 billion monthly active users, according to FactSet.

Net income rose to $4.71 billion, or $1.59 per share, from $2.63 billion, or 90 cents per share.

Analysts on an average were expecting the company to earn $1.28, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total revenue increased 47.3 percent to $10.33 billion beating analysts estimate of $9.84 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Various U.S. investigations into how Russia may have tried to sway American voters in the months before and after last year’s elections are hanging over Facebook and its competitors.

There is also proposed U.S. legislation that would extend rules governing political ads on television, radio and satellite to also cover digital advertising.

“We expect more scrutiny about Facebook’s ad system ahead,” analyst Debra Aho Williamson of research firm eMarketer said in a note. “We’re also monitoring for any signs that this investigation will have a material impact on ad revenue.” (VOA)

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Now Add Friends In Live Chats On Facebook Messenger

Users need to download the latest version of Messenger to get the new feature.

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Facebook now gives options to add friends from the live chat. Pixabay
Facebook now gives options to add friends from the live chat. Pixabay
  • New Facebook Messenger app has a new feature
  • This feature allows you to add friends from live chat
  • The app will help connect people faster and easily

Facebook has rolled out a new feature in both iOS and Android apps that can allow users to add more friends and family members to a live audio and video chats in Messenger.

With the update, users need not hang up and manually add people into a conversation before restarting the call.

Facebook
Now add friends on live chat! VOA

“We’re excited to share a small new feature that will hopefully have a big impact to make your video and audio chats easier and faster than ever,” Sarah Morris, Product Manager of Messenger, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

Earlier, to turn a one-on-one video or audio chat into a group chat, users had to hang up, start a new conversation from your inbox — either by creating an entirely new message or by searching for an old one — and then turn that conversation into a call.

Facebook's this feature is available on the upgraded version of messenger. AFP
Facebook’s this feature is available on the upgraded version of messenger. AFP

While in a video chat or on a voice call, tap the screen, select the “add person” icon and choose who you want to join.

All the filters and effects would be available and after the chat ends, a group chat is created automatically in a user’s inbox.

Users need to download the latest version of Messenger to get the feature. IANS