Facebook saw record surge in usage, revenue in 2020 but 2021 poses significant uncertainty

by Jeremy


The giant released its earnings for the December quarter on Thursday.

Facebook usage: The usage of Facebook increased significantly by the end of 2020 as compared to where it had been when 2020 had begun, and its revenue also saw a surge during the year. For the social media giant, the year was a thriving one even as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc everywhere else. The giant released its earnings for the December quarter on Thursday, in which it stated that during the quarter, Facebook earned over $28 billion, increasing from more than $21 billion in the same quarter in 2019, accounting an increase of 33%. In the quarter ended December 2020, Facebook earned nearly $86 billion, increasing 22% as compared to the previous year 2019.

Moreover, the daily active users of Facebook was recorded at an average of 1.84 billion for the month of December in 2020, witnessing a year-on-year increase of 11%, while the monthly active users were 2.8 billion as of December 31, 2020, accounting an increase of 12% year-on-year. Apart from this, across Facebook’s family of apps, ie, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, the daily active users in December 2020 were 2.6 billion on an average, which marked an increase of 15% as compared to 2019. Across this family of apps, the monthly active users were recorded at 3.3 billion as of December 31, 2020, witnessing a year-on-year increase of 14%.

These figures indicate that despite controversies and a global pandemic, Facebook witnessed a highly successful 2020.

However, in the statement, the company said that they continue to face significant uncertainty. Facebook said that while it benefited from the ongoing shift to online commerce and consumer demand shift from services to products, the company would also have to deal with negative impacts from reduction in advertising demand in the first half of this year. Facebook would also have to deal with the change in Apple’s policy that would be rolled out in iOS 14 sometime this year.

Notably, in the iOS 14 update, Apple has made it mandatory for all apps including Facebook to get explicit user permission for gathering any sort of user data, putting the onus of responsibility on apps, as against on the users, which has been the status quo for a long time. This update has Facebook worried ever since Cupertino had announced its plans, and while the timeline of Apple’s roll-out is not known, it is expected the policy would impact Facebook sometime towards the end of first quarter.

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