Facebook stock rose by approximately 7 percent to about $161 in after-hours trading following the release of the earnings report. As of December 2018, Facebook daily active user base was over 1.52 billion, according to the report.
Facebook's audience grew, bolstering its ability to collect data from users that can lure advertisers. "Advertisers are clearly still very reliant on Facebook". The CFO did note the company is facing a deceleration of revenue growth in 2019.
While Stories across all its products emerged as a strong source of revenue, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg emphasised that there are plans to bring new products to bring "major improvements to people's lives".
Facebook ads, and those of larger rival Google, are still more relevant and effective than most other options, precisely because the companies collect so much information on activity across the internet and beyond. Also, CFO David M. Wehner sold 4,761 shares of the firm's stock in a transaction on Friday, November 16th.
Bernoff questioned whether Facebook was positioning itself for the rise of smart speakers using the likes of Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. "This is going to be a long-term project that I think will probably be to whatever extent we end up doing it in - a 2020 thing or beyond", said the Facebook CEO. The company said eventually, it will no longer report how many people use the social network.
Advertising revenues for 2018 were a staggering $55bn.
Zuckerberg said that messaging is growing most quickly and predicted that private sharing in groups and stories will become more central to the social experience as people opt to share less publicly.
The company is focusing on making more of its messaging services encrypted by default, as well as expanding shopping on Instagram, he added.
The separation between Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram is about to get even blurrier.
Facebook's 60%-plus growth in net income and ne t earnings initially seems impressive. He also highlighted the possibility that Messenger - and the combined WhatsApp / Instagram system - could serve as an iMessage-like layer for SMS that would offer more functionality and security.