Facebook Pronounces Pandemic Profits in 2020

  • Despite these good figures, the firm warned that in 2021 they expect “headwinds for the personalized advertising sector.”
  • Facebook has benefited during the pandemic year from the trend of people spending more time at home.
  • Facebook is in the middle of two court cases against it for alleged monopolistic practices.

Facebook is doing well business-wise. The company’s revenue in the fourth quarter grew to $28 billion, up 33 percent from a year earlier. Profits totaled $11.2 billion, up 53 percent. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, however, warned that the new year could be complicated by changes to the privacy policy on iPhones.

Facebook continues to grow like crazy, despite FTC fines.

During the past twelve months, the revenue of Facebook— the most used social network in the world— shot up, mostly due to the sale of advertising space on the Internet and services related to this activity. Facebook’s shares reported to their holders during the past year $10.09 per share, compared to $6.43 the previous year.

Challenges Ahead

Despite these good figures, the firm warned that in 2021 they expect “headwinds for the personalized advertising sector,” which include changes in privacy policies announced by Apple for the iOS 14 operating system, to which Facebook is vigorously opposed.

Such is the rejection of the social network to this increase in privacy, that in the telephone call with investors after the presentation of results, Mr. Zuckerberg came to brand Apple as a competitor of Facebook, and therefore argued that the iPhone firm takes this measured “by competitive interests,” and not “to help people.”

Facebook Benefited During the Pandemic

The Menlo Park, California-based company, which also owns other popular apps, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, has benefited during the pandemic year from the trend of people spending more time at home, browsing and buying online, like other big technology companies.

WhatsApp, one of its most popular applications, was involved in a controversy in mid-January that forced it to delay updating its privacy policy, scheduled for February 8. The delay was to clear up the “confusion” about the use of data with Facebook, and its new options focused on selling products.

The update of the privacy policy has raised many doubts and misinformation about whether it meant access by Facebook to personal data, contacts, or conversations held on WhatsApp, the most-used messaging application in the world.

It also triggered doubts about whether by not accepting the new conditions of use, the user would lose their account and the app would disappear from their phone.

Apple, Facebook score with pandemic-hit consumers: profits surge.

Pending Judicial Cases

In parallel, Facebook is in the middle of two court cases against it for alleged monopolistic practices— one presented by the authorities of 48 states and another by the US federal government— for allegedly violating rules in favor of free competition and with the aim of ending their “illegal monopoly.”

Both parties accuse the company of illegally acquiring competitors, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, and thereby depriving consumers of the benefits of a competitive market and better privacy protections.

Among the measures they seek highlights the possibility that the courts will force Facebook to get rid of these two popular applications, which it bought for billions of dollars.

Vincent otegno

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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