Facebook reports slowing revenue and user growth

click to enlarge Facebook reports slowing revenue and user growth
Jeff Drew illustration
Mike Isaac
New York Times News Service

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook’s growth is slowing.

The social media company said Tuesday that its revenue rose 33 percent and profit increased 9 percent for the third quarter from a year earlier, roughly in line with what Wall Street had expected. But revenue growth was down from the 42 percent jump that Facebook had reported in the previous quarter, when it had also cautioned that its business was set to decelerate.

Facebook also said its daily active users increased 9 percent from a year earlier to 1.49 billion, compared with 11 percent growth in the previous quarter. Its monthly active users reached 2.27 billion.

Facebook’s shares rose about 1 percent in after-hours trading, after declining steeply during the past few months.

The social network has spent the past 18 months under scrutiny for the spread of disinformation, hate speech and leaks of user data. Executives have vowed change and Facebook has scrambled to apply fixes, even as new issues surface on an almost weekly basis.

“The fact that problems keep emerging reinforces our view that the company is not as in control of its business as it needs to be,” Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group, said in a note to clients.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has said there is likely to be future hits to profit margins as it works to repair systemic issues. The social network has pledged to hire tens of thousands more people to monitor content across its platform.

In a statement Tuesday, Zuckerberg promised expansion in the future, looking to Facebook-owned apps such as WhatsApp, the messaging app, and Instagram, the photo-sharing site.

“We’re building the best services for private messaging and stories, and there are huge opportunities ahead in video and commerce as well,” Zuckerberg said.

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