Despite multiple privacy scandals, Facebook’s ad revenue has not suffered a defeat. The social media posted total ad revenue of $16.6 billion, up 30% for Q4 2018 (year-on-year).
Regionally, Asia-Pacific ad revenues grew the fastest at 34%, followed by North America and Europe.
Mark Zuckerberg attributed the company’s growth to its Stories feature on both Facebook, but also Instagram.
According to the company’s COO Sheryl Sandberg, two million advertisers had already used Stories to engage customers via its Automatic Placement tool. The latter allows brands to convert feed ads into Stories formats.
For 2019, the company is sharpening its focus on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, investing more heavily into AI “to make ads more relevant and effective”.
“We’re also using AI to identify and more quickly review ads that might violate our policies, which was particularly important during the US midterm elections. Looking ahead, we see more opportunities to use AI to keep people safe on Facebook and help businesses grow,” added Sandberg.
Facebook family apps including WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram and Facebook itself were used by 2.7 billion people in December and on average by 2 billion daily.
Zuckerberg also addressed rumours surrounding a possible merger of its messaging apps adding that these would remain in the planning stages until 2020.
Furthermore, he plans to expand Instagram for eCommerce businesses in 2019.