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Noah Berger / AP

Facebook continued to beat investor expectations on revenue, profit, user growth and advertising growth Thursday, despite facing one of its toughest PR quarters as a company, with probes into Russian meddling into the election on its platform a topic of national conversation.

Why it matters: Their business is exploding despite the Russia hype and concerns earlier this year about ad load slowing due to News Feed saturation.

By the numbers:

  • Revenue: $10.3 billion, up 47% from $7.01 billion last year, beating Wall Street estimates of $9.84 billion
  • EPS: $1.59, up 77% from $0.90 in 2016, beating beating estimates of $1.28.
  • Advertising: $10.1 billion, up 49% from $6.82 billion last year, beating estimates of $9.71B.
  • Mobile Advertising: ~88% of advertising revenue for the third quarter of 2017, up from ~84% of advertising revenue in the third quarter of 2016
  • Users:Daily Active Users (DAUs) 1.37 billion on average for September 2017, up 16% year-over-yearMonthly Active Users (MAUs) were 2.07 billion as of September 30, 2017, up 16% year-over-year

Spotlight on Russia and transparency: Executives also made sure to spotlight how seriously the company is taking the issue of Russian abuse of ads and free speech on its platform.

  • "Our community continues to grow and our business is doing well," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "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."
  • COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company was committed to getting this right and that while it is working with Congress on new ad requirements, it won't be "waiting for legislation" to take action.
  • Zuckerberg said it's Facebook's responsibility to users and "society overall" to combat fake news, bullying and hate speech on the platform. To combat those "hard problems," Zuckerberg says Facebook will invest upfront in double the amount of people to review content and ads (bringing the total to 20,000), and more technology like artificial intelligence to weed out and monitor bad content.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

CES was largely irrelevant this year

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Forced online by the pandemic and overshadowed by the attack on the Capitol, the 2021 edition of CES was mostly an afterthought as media's attention focused elsewhere.

Why it matters: The consumer electronics trade show is the cornerstone event for the Consumer Technology Association and Las Vegas has been the traditional early-January gathering place for the tech industry.

The FBI is tracing a digital trail to Capitol rioters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Capitol rioters, eager to share proof of their efforts with other extremists online, have so far left a digital footprint of at least 140,000 images that is making it easier for federal law enforcement officials to capture and arrest them.

The big picture: Law enforcement's use of digital tracing isn't new, and has long been at the center of fierce battles over privacy and civil liberties. The Capitol siege is opening a fresh front in that debate.

Off the Rails

Episode 6: Last stand in Georgia

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer, Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 6: Georgia had not backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 and Donald Trump's defeat in this Deep South stronghold, and his reaction to that loss, would help cost Republicans the U.S. Senate as well. Georgia was Trump's last stand.

On Air Force One, President Trump was in a mood. He had been clear he did not want to return to Georgia, and yet somehow he'd been conscripted into another rally on the night of Jan. 4.