Facebook revenues grew 43 per cent to more than $40bn in 2017, despite what Mark Zuckerberg said was a “hard” year for the social network.
Facebook users now number more than 2.1bn, with 1.4bn daily users, the social network revealed as it released its full financial figures for last year.
Almost all of the company’s income was made through advertising ($39bn), with mobile representing approximately 89 per cent of the take for the final quarter, up from approximately 84 per on the year before.
In a community update yesterday, matching previous updates on Facebook’s News Feed changes to move away from publisher content, Zuckerberg said: “Our focus in 2018 is making sure Facebook isn’t just fun, but also good for people’s well-being and for society.
“We’re doing this by encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content. Already last quarter, we made changes to show fewer viral videos to make sure people’s time is well spent.
“In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50m hours every day. By focusing on meaningful connections, our community and business will be stronger over the long term.”
Zuckerberg also laid out the series of updates tackling the problems of fake news. “Preventing false news, hate speech, and other abuse is another important area of focus for us,” he said.
“In order to protect the security and integrity of our platform, we’re investing in both people and technology.
“We now have around 14,000 people working across community ops, online ops, and our security efforts.
“We’ve also built new technology to detect suicidal posts that has helped first responders reach more than 100 people who needed help quickly, and we’ve built Aritifical Intelligence systems to flag suspicious behaviour around elections in real time and remove terrorist content.
“Thanks to our AI systems, 99 per cent of the ISIS and Al-Qaeda-related terror content we take down is now removed before anyone flags it to us — and in some cases, before anyone sees it.
“We’ve also made progress demoting false news in News Feed, which typically reduces an article’s traffic by 80 per cent and destroys the economic incentives most spammers and troll farms have to generate these articles in the first place.”
According to emarketer, Facebook will capture 18.4 per cent of the $266bn global digital ad market this year, behind Google, at a 31.3 per cent share.