Facebook’s Third Quarter Financial and Operational Highlights include an increase of monthly active users by 16%.
This brings Facebook’s monthly active users to 2.07 Billion people as of September 30 2017.
Meanwhile the behemoth social media platform saw Mobile advertising represent 88% of its total advertising revenue for the third quarter as companies adopt device based marketing.
“Our community continues to grow and our business is doing well,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. “But none of that matters if our services are used in ways that don’t bring people closer together. We’re serious about preventing abuse on our platforms. We’re investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability. Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits.”
The comment highlights Zuckerburgs faith in his platform while addressing the growing concerns from facebook users that the platform does little to protect them
“Our community continues to grow, now with nearly 2.1 billion people using Facebook every month, and nearly 1.4 billion people using it daily. Instagram also hit a big milestone this quarter, now with 500 million daily actives. And we saw good results in the business, where total revenue grew 47% year-over-year and we had our first quarter with more than $10 billion in revenue.
But none of that matters if our services are used in ways that don’t bring people closer together — or if the foundation of our society is undermined by foreign interference.
I’ve expressed how upset I am that the Russians tried to use our tools to sow mistrust. We build these tools to help people connect and bring us closer together. They used them to try to undermine our values. What they did is wrong and we’re not going to stand for it.
Now, for those who have followed Facebook, you know that when we set our minds to something, we’re going to do it. It may be harder than we realize upfront, it may take longer, and we won’t be perfect, but we will get it done. We’re bringing the same intensity to these security issues that we’ve brought to any adversary or challenge we’ve faced.
The first step is doing everything we can to help the US government get a complete picture of what happened. We’ve testified in congress over the past couple of days about the activity we found in last year’s election. We’re working with congress on legislation to make advertising more transparent. I think this would be very good if done well. And even without legislation, we’re already moving on our own to bring advertising on Facebook to an even higher standard of transparency than ads on TV or other media. That’s because in traditional media, there’s no way to see all of the messages an advertiser is showing to different audiences. We’re about to start rolling out a tool that lets you see all ads a page is running, and also an archive of ads political advertisers have run in the past.
We’re also working with other tech companies to help identify and respond to new threats, because as we’ve now seen, if there’s a national security threat involving the internet, it will affect many of the major tech companies. And we’ve announced a number of steps to help keep this kind of interference off our platform.
This is part of a much bigger focus on protecting the security and integrity of our platform and the safety of our community. It goes beyond elections and it means strengthening all of our systems to prevent abuse and harmful content.
We’re doing a lot here with investments in people and technology. Some of this is focused on finding bad actors and bad behavior. Some is focused on removing false news, hate speech, bullying, and other problematic content that we don’t want in our community. We already have about 10,000 people working on safety and security, and we’re planning to double that to 20,000 in the next year to better enforce our Community Standards and review ads. In many places, we’re doubling or more our engineering efforts focused on security. We’re also building new AI to detect bad content and bad actors — just like we’ve done with terrorist propaganda.
I’m dead serious about this, and the reason I’m talking about this on our earnings call is that I’ve directed our teams to invest so much in security — on top of the other investments we’re making — that it will significantly impact our profitability going forward, and I wanted our investors to hear that directly from me. I believe this will make our society stronger and in doing so will be good for all of us over the long term. But I want to be clear about what our priority is: protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits.
So security and the integrity of our service will be a major focus. Beyond this, our focus is building community. I talked about this last quarter when we changed our mission to focus on building community to bring the world closer together, and that’s more important now than ever. And this gets into our roadmap for the next 3, 5 and 10 years.
Over the next three years, the biggest trend in our products will be the growth of video. This goes both for sharing, where we’ve seen Stories in Instagram and Status in WhatsApp grow very quickly, each with more than 300 million daily actives, and also for consuming video content. We recently launched the Watch tab, where you can discover shows, follow creators, connect with people watching an episode, and join groups with people with similar interests to build community.
But as video grows, it’s important to remember that Facebook is about bringing people closer together and enabling meaningful social interactions; it’s not primarily about passively consuming content. Research shows that interacting with friends and family on social media tends to be more meaningful and can be good for our well-being, and that’s time well spent. But when we just passively consume content, that may be less true.
When done well, video brings us closer together. We’ve found that communities formed around video like TV shows or sports create a greater sense of belonging than many other communities. We’ve found that Live videos generate 10x the number of interactions and comments as other videos. But too often right now, watching video is just a passive consumption experience. Time spent is not a goal by itself. We want the time people spend on Facebook to encourage meaningful social interactions.
So we’re going to focus our products on all the ways to build community around the video people share and watch. That’s something Facebook can uniquely do.
Moving along, over the next five years, I expect us to make some good progress on several newer initiatives.
In messaging, today already more than 20 million businesses are communicating with customers through Messenger. Now we’re starting to test business features that make it easier for people to make the same kinds of connections with businesses through WhatsApp.
We rolled out Marketplace to Canada and 17 countries across Europe, giving people the ability to discover, buy, and sell things in their local communities. Today more than 550 million people are using Marketplace and Buy-and-Sell groups on Facebook to connect with other people for transactions.
We’re also seeing good progress with Workplace, helping companies connect their own teams internally through their own versions of Facebook. It’s been less than a year since we launched Workplace, and today more than 30,000 companies are using it. This quarter, we welcomed on Walmart, the largest employer in the US.
Over the next 10 years, we’re working on the foundational technologies needed to bring the world closer together.
I’m proud of the work we’re doing with AI. We’re now using machine learning in most of our integrity work to keep our community safe. When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, we used AI to look at satellite imagery and identify where people might live and need connectivity and other resources. Progress in AI can unlock a lot of opportunities, so this quarter we opened a new AI research lab in Montreal and we’re building another lab in Paris as well.
This quarter we held Oculus Connect, and we announced Oculus Go — our first ever all-in-one headset that’s great for feeling like you’re present with someone when you can’t physically be together in person. It’s great for playing games, watching movies, or hanging out with friends. At $199, we think it’s going to help us bring great virtual reality experiences to more people. It ships next year.
At Connect, I also showed our new Santa Cruz prototype — which is the first time any company has shown the full experience of positional tracking in a standalone headset and controllers. It’s a major technical achievement, and I’m looking forward to getting this into developers’ hands next year.
In order to support our community’s growth, we need to keep investing in our infrastructure. This quarter, we broke ground on our new Albany data center, and we announced that we’ll build our 11th major data center in Henrico County, Virginia. As always, all our new data centers are powered by 100% renewable energy.
These long term investments are important for our community’s future. We can do a lot to help connect people through phones and computers, but so much more will be possible in a world where everyone has internet access, where AI improves all our services, and where we can basically teleport anywhere or be within anyone anytime we want.
With all the issues we face, it would be a lot to just invest in addressing those. But we know we also have a responsibility to deliver these fundamental technical and scientific advances to fulfill the promise of bringing people closer together, so we’re going to keep making significant investments looking ahead towards the future too.
We’ve made some real progress this year. Across the board, we have a lot of work to deliver on our mission of bringing the world closer together, but we’re committing to rising to the challenge and doing what we need to for our community. Thanks to all of you for being part of this journey, and I’m looking forward to the road ahead.”