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Facebook brought in $17.74 billion in revenue during the first quarter of 2020, the Menlo Park, California-based company told investors Wednesday. That was an 18 percent year-over-year increase but still slightly short of analysts’ expectations.
The social media giant earned $4.9 billion in profit, or $1.71 per share, more than double what it had netted a year earlier. Facebook's stock price spiked more than 15 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday.
The pandemic has also led to “a significant reduction” in advertising demand and a related drop in ad prices during the last three weeks of the quarter, the company said.
However, Facebook also said the coronavirus has driven increased engagement, and the site has been working to provide users with real-time information on the virus. The site’s daily active users were up 11 percent year-over-year to 1.73 billion users, the company said.
“Our work has always been about helping you stay connected with the people you care about,” Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a written statement. “With people relying on our services more than ever, we're focused on keeping people safe, informed and connected.”
Going ahead, Facebook said it has seen signs of stability based on the first three weeks of April, when ad revenue was about the same as it was during the same time last year.
Facebook has also been targeting misinformation on its platform, Zuckerberg said. He highlighted an example of a hoax that had claimed inhaling water was a cure for the coronavirus, which Facebook removed.
“We don’t allow content that puts people at risk of physical harm,” he said.