Facebook reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2019 and the full year earlier this week, and we broke out the highlights, financial and otherwise.
The financial numbers
The company reported $21.802 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2019, up 25% from the same period in 2018, and $70.697 billion for the full year, up 27% from $55,838 billion.
Advertising, as always, was behind nearly all of Facebook’s revenue, accounting for $20.736 billion in the fourth quarter and $69.655 billion in the full year.
Facebook’s net income for the fourth quarter was $7.349 billion, up 7% from $6.882 billion in the prior-year quarter, and it slipped 16% for the full year, to $18.485 billion from $22.112 billion.
The company said its headcount was 44,942 as of Dec. 31, up 26% year-over-year, and chief financial officer David Wehner said in his opening remarks during Facebook’s earnings call that the over 9,300 new hires in 2019 were primarily in technical functions.
Wehner added that the total number of ad impressions served across Facebook’s services jumped 31% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, while the average price per ad slipped 5%, drive primarily by News Feed, Instagram Stories and Instagram feed.
He said, “Facebook News Feed impression growth benefited largely from community growth and engagement trends on the Facebook application. The year-over-year decline in average price per ad was primarily driven by the ongoing mix shift toward ads on Stories and in geographies that monetize at lower rates.”
The non-financial numbers
Facebook reported an average of 1.66 billion daily active users in December 2019, up 9% year-over-year, and 2.5 billion monthly active users as of Dec. 31, up 8% compared with the previous year. Wehner said in his opening remarks that the growth in DAUs was fueled by gains in India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The company also explained its new family metrics: “Our family metrics represent our estimates of the underlying number of unique people using one or more of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and/or WhatsApp (collectively, our ‘family’ of products). We define a daily active person as a registered and logged-in user of one or more family products who visited at least one of these products through a mobile device app or using a web or mobile browser on a given day. We define a monthly active person as a registered and logged-in user of one or more family products who visited at least one of these products through a mobile device app or using a web or mobile browser in the last 30 days as of the date of measurement.”
Facebook reported average family DAP of 2.26 billion in December 2019, up 11% compared with December 2018, and average family MAP of 2.89 billion as of Dec. 31, up 9% year-over-year.
Likewise, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said during her opening remarks that Facebook recently revealed that 4 million advertisers are using Stories, up from 2 million at the same time in 2018.
Zuckerberg conceded during his opening remarks that controversies such as Facebook’s decision to not ban political advertising or fact-check content from politicians have negatively impacted his popularity and the company’s.
He said, “My goal for this next decade isn’t to be liked, but to be understood. In order to be trusted, people need to know what you stand for. So, we’re going to focus more on communicating our principles—whether that’s standing up for giving people a voice against those who would censor people who don’t agree with them, standing up for letting people build their own communities against those who say that new types of communities forming on social media is dividing us, standing up for encryption against those who say privacy mostly helps bad people, standing up for giving small businesses more opportunity and sophisticated tools against those who say targeted advertising is a problem, or standing up for serving every person in the world against those who say you have to pay a premium in order to really be served.”