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Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

In earnings for the 2020 third quarter released Thursday, Facebook reported modest user growth but revenue increases that beat Wall Street expectations.

Why it matters: Facebook's business looks resilient and thriving despite — or maybe because of — the pandemic.

Yes, but: The company did note that user growth in the U.S. and Canada was down slightly from the second quarter, which it attributed to lockdown protocols around the pandemic being lifted.

By the numbers, per CNBC:

  • Earnings: $2.71 cents per share, vs $1.91 per share forecast by Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $21.47 billion, vs $19.8 billion forecast by Refinitiv
  • Daily active users (DAUs): 1.82 billion vs. 1.79 billion forecast by FactSet
  • Monthly active users (MAUs): 2.74 billion vs. 2.7 billion forecast by FactSet
  • Average revenue per user (ARPU): $7.89 vs. $7.32 forecast by FactSet

The big picture: The report comes the day after CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified virtually on Capitol Hill, along with executives of other tech giants, about an array of issues, including censorship and content moderation.

What's next: The company forecast a few pandemic-related headwinds going into next year, but says it's on track to grow its ad revenue next quarter during the holiday shopping season.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Jan 28, 2021 - Technology

Facebook Oversight Board overturns 4 of its 5 first cases

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook's independent Oversight Board published its first set of decisions Thursday, overturning four of the five cases it chose to review out of 20,000 cases submitted.

Why it matters: The decision to go against Facebook's conclusions in four out of five instances gives legitimacy to the board, which is funded via a $130 million grant from Facebook.

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Facebook seeks a new head of U.S. public policy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook is looking externally for a new U.S. policy chief as it moves Kevin Martin, a Republican who now holds the job, to a different position, per a memo seen by Axios.

Between the lines: Facebook is moving on from the Trump era in which Republicans held most of the power in Washington and Facebook was particularly eager among tech companies to forge warm relations with GOP policymakers.

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Facebook developing a tool to help advertisers avoid bad news

Photo Illustration: Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook on Friday said it's testing new advertiser "topic exclusion controls" to help address concerns marketers may have that their ads are appearing next to topics in Facebook's News Feed that they consider bad for their brand.  

Why it matters: As Axios has previously noted, the chaotic nature of the modern news cycle and digital advertising landscape has made it nearly impossible for brands to run ads against quality content in an automated fashion without encountering bad content.