Just minutes before Facebook released its third quarter earnings this afternoon, Twitter dropped a mic at its feet: CEO Jack Dorsey made the surprise announcement that his social network will ban political advertising starting in November to “focus our efforts on the root problems, without the additional burden and complexity taking money brings.”
Facebook, on the other hand, has steadfastly stood by its controversial policy to allow political ads without fact-checking — in other words, to take money in exchange for boosting the reach of potential lies.
The controversy is already overshadowing Facebook’s rather stellar past three months. It yet again posted better-than-expected earnings, with ad revenue and net income surpassing Wall Street expectation with $6 billion in profit on $17.7 billion in sales. More importantly for Facebook’s long-term growth, the social network keeps getting bigger.
This past quarter, Facebook’s daily active user count grew 9 percent to 1.62 billion. Its monthly active user account grew 8 percent to 2.45 billion. Facebook says the number of people who use a product in its “family of services,” which includes WhatsApp and Instagram, every day is now 2.2 billion. Every month, that figure jumps to 2.8 billion.