Facebook user growth continues to slow

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"We also rolled forward our valuation to year-end 2019, and in so doing increased our price target on the stock to $215, based on a 12.5x multiple to our 2020 Adj. EBITDA estimate of $46.6B", the analyst added.

From September 2017 to September 2018, daily active users (DAUs) increased 9% to 1.49 billion.

Profit beat Wall Street expectations by jumping nine percent to $5.14 billion on revenue that leaped 33 percent to $13.7 billion in the quarter that ended September 30.

About 2.6 billion users interact with at least one of Facebook's services each month, up from 2.5 billion when it released the figure for the first time last quarter to emphasise that its potential audience for advertisers is unrivalled in size.

Facebook has lost a million daily and monthly active users in the last three months, the company's latest financial results have revealed.

Wall Street is breathing a sigh of relief after Facebook's (FB) earnings.

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The company also said it estimates over 2.6 billion people now use Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram or Messenger each month.

In Canada and the United States, which is where Facebook makes the most money from each user, its number of Daily Active Users (DAUs) remained flat at 185 million during Q3; the same number it recorded throughout Q2. While previous earnings calls have typically involved cheerleading rhetoric about Facebook's numerous strengths, Zuckerberg was equally clear this time in outlining the challenges the company faces.

The report comes after a disappointing second quarter. The social network has pledged to hire tens of thousands more people to monitor content on its platform, and said on Tuesday it planned to spend $US18 billion to $US20 billion in operating expenses next year.

Still, the company had warned its profit and revenue growth could be the slowest in years.

"People want to share in ways that don't stick around permanently", Zuckerberg said on the call.

In order to address revenue struggles, Facebook will look to focus on shift marketers to its Stories, messaging, and video offerings - due to the amount of time users spend in each of these areas beyond the standard news feed - but getting it right will be hard, particularly on Stories, according to Zuckerberg. The stories format is popular on Instagram and WhatsApp, but on the main social network it's just starting to gain traction.

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"I expect 2019 to be another year of significant investment" across the company, he said.

Anthony commented, "The core Facebook platform is transitioning from Newsfeed monetization to Newsfeed plus Stories monetization, with the latter opportunity expected to be bigger than the former overtime". Almost 30 million users' phone numbers and email addresses were accessed by hackers.

Though these weren't as big as the Cambridge Analytica scandal that really rocked Facebook.

Just last week, Facebook said it took down 82 pages, groups and accounts that were run from Iran but targeting people in the USA and the United Kingdom ahead of the U.S. midterm elections.

"This is one of those situations where the community growth we are seeing is outpacing the progress we made on developing ads in that space", Zuckerberg said of Stories. But he cautioned that even then, the systems won't be ideal. Third-quarter revenues were up 33pc year on year to $13.7bn, out of which $13.5bn was advertising, while $188m came from payments and other services.

The company will also be tested next week when Americans vote in the November 6 midterm elections. In June, it announced 1 billion people use the photo-sharing app each month.

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