Facebook reported strong third-quarter outcomes Wednesday exhibiting regular development in its person base even because it faces broad regulatory threats and criticism over its energy and adverse results on society.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg lauded the corporate’s monetary efficiency earlier than launching into an impassioned monologue about rules and free speech throughout a convention name with analysts. The name started lower than an hour after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey introduced that his firm is banning all political advertisements from its platform, a problem to Facebook, which has up to now stood by its much-criticized choice to not truth test such advertisements.

“Today is certainly a historical moment of social tension, and I view an important role of our company as defending free expression,” Zuckerberg stated. Right now, he added, the talk is about political advertisements, saying that whereas he has thought of whether or not to ban such advertisements from Facebook, “on balance so far I’ve thought we should continue.”

Though grappling with massive societal points and regulators respiratory down its neck, Facebook continued to develop revenue and gross sales within the double digits throughout the quarter. Facebook stated that it earned $6.09 billion, or $2.12 per share, within the July-September interval, up 19% from $5.14 billion, or $1.76 per share, in the identical interval a yr earlier.

Revenue grew 29% to $17.65 billion from $13.73 billion. Analysts on FactSet had anticipated earnings of $2.11 per share and income of $17.37 billion.

Facebook ended the quarter with 2.45 billion month-to-month customers, up 8% from a yr earlier. It additionally stated that about 2.Eight billion folks use at the very least one among its companies — Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram — at the very least as soon as a month.

“Advertisers continue to support Facebook, despite the many controversies swirling around the company, and the user base also continues to expand around the world,” stated eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “Yes, Facebook has a lot of challenges it must deal with, but increasing its revenue and user count isn’t one of them.”

The firm based mostly in Menlo Park, California, has had a tough couple of years and is below rising regulatory scrutiny around the globe. In the U.S., it faces a number of authorities investigations for alleged anti-competitive conduct, together with probes by the Federal Trade Commission and 46 state attorneys normal.

Zuckerberg confronted prickly questioning from members of Congress final week when he testified concerning the firm’s plans for a digital cryptocurrency.

Investors despatched Facebook’s fill up 4% in after-hours buying and selling following the earnings report.

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