Zuckerberg Fires Back in Announcing $9B Earnings

Facebook CEO says younger users will become the priority
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2021 7:30 PM CDT
Facebook Reports $9B in Earnings, Answers Criticism
This photo shows the mobile phone app logos for, from left, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in New York, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. The six-hour outage was a headache for many casual users but far more serious for the millions of people worldwide who rely on the social media sites to run their businesses...   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Facebook delivered a third-quarter earnings report Monday that exceeded analysts' expectations, though revenue was off. The company reported, per MarketWatch:

Stronger earnings. Facebook said quarterly earnings hit $9.19 billion for the quarter, or $3.22 a share; that figure was $2.71 a share a year ago.
Weaker revenue. The company's forecast is sales of $31.5 billion to $34 billion. Analysts had expected $34.72 billion.
User growth. The number of people using Facebook apps rose 12% over a year ago, per CNN, reaching almost 3.6 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg began the earnings call by pushing back against the criticism of the company, partly driven by a whistleblower's testimony and document release. "Good faith criticism helps us get better," he said, "but my view is that we are seeing a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company." The issues the company faces, he said, such as the prevalence of hate speech, are a problem for society at large, not just Facebook, per CNBC. "These issues aren’t primarily about social media," Zuckerberg said. "That means that no matter what Facebook does, we’re never going to solve them on our own."

The CEO announced that Facebook will be refocused to make a priority out of serving young adults, per the Verge. "So much of our services have gotten dialed to be the best for the most people who use them, rather than specifically for young adults," Zuckerberg said. The effort will take years and involve emphasizing video more on Instagram. He acknowledged that one reason for the video push is the success of TikTok, which Zuckerberg called "one of the most effective competitors we've ever faced." (Read more Facebook stories.)

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