For Facebook, the revelation was all the more embarrassing because it had previously estimated that only around 10 million U.S. users had been exposed to Russian disinformation.
Daily active users and monthly active users both grew 16 percent year over year.
Ad revenue saw a 49 per cent year-on-year (YoY) increase compared to Q3 2017, with mobile ad revenue representing around 88 per cent of that total.
The quarterly earnings report was released as Facebook and other internet titans testified this week before Congress about a Russian-led effort to spread misinformation and sow discord ahead of the 2016 USA election.
The hearing was the second in Congress this week in which social media and internet firms have been called to explain how fake news and other disinformation was allowed to spread during the election campaign.
Facebook recently committed to doubling the headcount of its security and safety teams from 10,000 to 20,000 by the end of 2018. The investment in this area will increase enough that it will impact the company's profitability going forward, Zuckerberg warned analysts. "But I want to be clear about what our priority is. Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits." said Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg's statement comes at a critical time for Facebook as well as other online advertising platforms.
The analyst added that some investors might be anxious that the probed into Russian Federation meddling with U.S. politics will result in regulation on social networks that might hurt profitability.
"Facebook's efforts will come in many forms - increasing transparency of political and issue ads, removing problematic content such as false news and hate speech and bulking up review of ad content", added Anmuth. This is another reason for the focus on building a healthy ecosystem that users trust, because if Facebook is successful with its security measures, it can conceivably start charging more for ads.
"For those who have followed Facebook, you know that when we set our minds to something, we're going to do it".
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