Facebook’s Fourth Quarter Earnings Beats Expectations Despite Fake News Issues

While Facebook predominately battled fake news and misinformation on the social network, the social media company beat fourth-quarter earnings beat analysts expectations.

Following Wednesday’s closing bell, Facebook posted their fourth quarter earnings, and they beat expectations. Mark Zuckerberg’s social media company reported revenue of $8.81 billion for 2016 beating analysts projected $8.52 billion in revenue.

In fact, Facebook was able to increase their advertising revenue by 53% year-over-year. Also, the number of daily active users rose by 18 % with 1.23 billion and 1.86 billion monthly active users. That said, Facebook’s user growth is slowing down in the U.S. and Canada as the company only added 2 million daily and monthly users in their fourth quarter.

Also, mobile advertising revenue accounted for 84% of their total income for fourth quarter 2016, which was an increase from 2015. Also, the net income has increased by 177% year-over-year.

Facebook versus fake news

This news comes after Facebook faced severe criticism for false news shared on the social network prior before the U.S. Presidential election. When it was revealed a false story titled “Pope Francis shocks world, endorses Donald Trump for President” went viral, many argued that the company’s spread of misinformation helped Donald Trump become President of the United States.

In fact, Barack Obama called out Facebook during a news conference for spreading misinformation on the social network. “Because in an age where there’s so much active misinformation and its packaged very well and it looks the same when you see it on a Facebook page or you turn on your television,” Obama said.

Then, Germany threatened to hit Facebook with a €500,000 fine for every fake news post.

Since then, the company has taken steps towards addressing the issue. For example, Facebook hired CNN’s Campbell Brown to lead their news division. Also, Facebook implemented new features that included reporting fake news stories seen on the social network and updating the Trending feature. Besides adding new features, Facebook announced the Journalism Project, which is supposed to make it easier for journalists to share their news stories on the social network.