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The recent ad boycott hasn't slowed down Facebook

Facebook made more than $18 billion in ad revenue, amid a massive boycott.
Karissa Bell, @karissabe
July 30, 2020
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POLAND - 2020/06/15: In this photo illustration a Facebook logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SOPA Images via Getty Images

We just got our best look yet at how much the massive advertiser boycott has affected Facebook’s bottom line: not very much at all. Facebook reported earnings for the second quarter of 2020, and the results confirmed that the social network is more than able to weather the financial impact of more than a thousand advertisers temporarily abandoning its advertising platform.

The company reported more than $18.3 billion in ad revenue for the quarter, up more than 10 percent from last year. In a statement, the company further noted that revenue grew 10 percent during the first three weeks of July — the month that civil rights organizations encouraged advertisers to halt their spending with the social network — and suggested next quarter’s growth would be “roughly similar.” The “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign kicked off in response to Facebook’s hate speech policies, which civil rights groups said pose a threat to advertisers.

It’s not necessarily a surprise that Facebook would continue to flourish in the face of an advertiser backlash. While large corporations made headlines for pausing their spending, Facebook also depends on thousands of small businesses who aren’t able to abandon the platform as easily. Still, the results underscore just dominant Facebook is.

Facebook also continued to see a surge in user growth, a trend the company has attributed to coronavirus-induced lockdowns, which have driven more users to Facebook-owned services. Facebook grew its daily active users to 1.79 billion, up 12 percent from 2019, while DAUs for its “family of apps” grew to nearly 2.5 billon.

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