Facebook tops mobile ad revenue once again and reconfirms commitment to prevent ad abuse

Facebook this week reported revenue of $10.3 billion for the third quarter of 2017, beating analyst expectations of $9.84 billion. Revenue climbed 47% compared to the previous year.

Advertising revenues stood at $10.1 billion, up 49% from $6.82 billion in 2016. Mobile advertising generated 88% of the company’s ad revenue for Q3 2017 – up from 84% in 2016.

It seems that the Russian scandal and targeting inflation issues did not affect Facebook all that much. However, CEO Mark Zuckerberg stressed that Facebook was becoming more and more serious about preventing abuse across its network.

We’re investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability. Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits.”

“The lesson here is that for all the excitement around data, automation and AI, there’s currently no perfect substitute for human judgement and oversight. For marketers, the ‘set it and forget it’ approach sounds great, but when you’re doing that at scale you need insights and expertise – not just the technology – to do it well,” adds Adam Weinroth, CMO at marketing automation company eRelevance.

Facebook also reported 2.06 billion monthly active users – an increase of 3.19% since the previous quarter (2.006 billion). Meanwhile, daily active users shot up 3.8% quarter-on-quarter to 1.37 billion users.

However, return rates of daily active users remained steady at Q1 2016 levels of 66%.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp Status and Instagram Stories both have around 300 million daily users, up from 250 million during Q2 2017. It seems that Facebook cloning Snapchat features has paid off.

“It’s important to remember that Facebook is about bringing people closer together and enabling meaningful social interaction,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s not primarily about consuming content passively. 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.”

During the company’s earnings call, Zuckerberg reconfirmed his commitment to a greater level of transparency of the network’s ads.

Facebook also confirmed that it would increase spending on security measures to monitor ads and content across the network.

Greg Wester, SVP, Marketing and Business Development at mobile content discovery firm Mobile Posse, said:

“The most interesting news on Facebook’s ad growth is their growing influence from ‘fake intent.’ More time is being spent in Facebook merely because the app gets left open when people put their phone down. 18.6% of all time in Facebook now comes from – people finding and using it merely because it was already open when they unlock their mobile device. The same time last year, it was only 15%. Today’s consumer is increasingly using their mobile device to kill their idle time, and that’s where Facebook’s luring content feed, ‘fake’ or ‘real,’ increasingly dominates. Their ad revenue follows in tow.”