Amidst Controversial Investigations, And Apple's User Privacy Features, Facebook Still Manages To Have A Successful Q3

Facebook recently posted results for the company's Q3 2021 revenue, displaying steady growth. Which goes to show that despite the number of controversies they wade into, corporations find a way.

While momentum was definitely lost across Q3 2021, Facebook still continued to grow at a decent rate. Revenue was bolstered not only by the platform's own returns, combined with the likes of Instagram and WhatsApp, but was also helped out a lot by solid sales figures from the Oculus VR units and the new AR Ray Ban smart glasses. The Q3 2021 report can be easily found on the platform's investors section, but we'll break down some of the more important and relevant details here. Starting off with perhaps the most important metric of them all: userbase. Facebook added 22 million new daily active users (DAUs) to its platforms, leading to an overall massive number of 1.93 billion DAUs. With such a track record, all Facebook needs is another solid quarter, and Q4 will push the numbers over the 2 billion DAUs line.
The most active site of growth proved to be the Asia Pacific region, with numbers going from 788 million DAUs in Q2 2021 to 805 million this quarter. Europe, & the US and Canada regions displayed the least amount of growth, with numbers going up by 1 million DAUs from Q2 to Q3 for both. This very much plays into the current perception that the West continues to be less and less enamored by the likes of Facebook, with platforms such as TikTok displaying more engagement and success. However, the social network's not even close to being out of the game. Countries such as India and Indonesia have a very high populace, and more importantly, that very populace loves Facebook. Perhaps it has to do with developing countries having very uneven internet access across the board. As technology improves, more people join the popular Facebook bandwagon, even for the first time. Imagine that; someone in 2021 joining Facebook for the first time ever.

The only major hit that Facebook has taken across Q3 is that ad revenue still seems to struggle a little bit. Most of this, if not all of it, has to do with Apple's Tracking and Transparency features, which were introduced to the iOS 14 all the way back in 2020. Tracking and Transparency features mean that third party apps and advertisers cannot take any form of personal user data without explicit consent being provided by the users. This means that advertisers can no longer gauge information such as location data or browser history; the sort of information that makes targeted advertisements easier on these companies.

Facebook's been very vocal about its dislike of the Tracking and Transparency features, even though the tradeoff for less ads is user privacy and online security. At any rate, the company ran a long campaign against the features, only to ultimately relent in early 2021. Losing advertisers may be bad, but losing a significant portion of the userbase that's found in Apple product users is much, much worse. Besides, with other problems on the horizon, Facebook doesn't really have the time to deal with other corporations.

A slew of accusations, backed up by a lot of proof, mind you, have led the company into a terrible situation, rife with whistleblowing ex-employees, accusations of attempted monopolization, and even Congressional hearings. The press is staked pretty hard against the social network, to the ire of CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who called the negative coverage to be a coordinated attack. These headlines even prompted memos to spread across the office from Facebook's VP of Global Affairs, asking employees to steel themselves against more bad press in the near future.

Despite all this controversy, Facebook is clearly still doing well for itself. The question now remains: for how long will it continue to do so?

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