Picture this if you will: Facebook trousers $77,794. Every. Minute.

So sorry <kerching> about the Russians <kerching> and ISIS


Facebook is one of the most ruthlessly efficient money-making machines in history, and has exceeded $10bn revenue in a quarter for the first time. Gross revenue of $10.3bn means the company earns some $4.67m every hour, $77,794 per minute, or $1,296 every second.

With barely over 20,000 staff to feed, and relatively few partners or suppliers to pay, much of that goes to the bottom line. Facebook profit in the three months to the end of September blew through the $4bn-a-quarter mark for the first time. By comparison, Amazon employs well over half a million staff and added 159,500 in the most recent quarter. That works out as more than $35,000 profit per minute.

How come? Simple. Ad sales rose, and Facebook charges more for its ads. Average revenue per user hit record levels: $21.20 in the USA and Canada, $6.85 in Europe.

So, tell us again how tech giants are more important than US govt...

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No, how come, really? Well, Facebook is part of an advertising duopoly, alongside Google. New growth in digital advertising is being swallowed up by this duopoly. And Facebook has more valuable behavioural data than Google. People simply spend hours on Facebook every day, and fleeting seconds elsewhere. 89 per cent is from mobile.

Mark Zuckerberg said he was serious about interactive video "because live videos generate 10 times the number of interactions and comments as other videos".

Is that a good thing? Have a guess.

"But too often right now, watching a video is just a passive consumption experience. Time spent is not a goal by itself. We want the time people spend on Facebook to encourage meaningful social interaction. So we're going to focus our products on all the ways to build community around the videos that people share and watch. That's something Facebook can uniquely do," Zuck burbled.

He said "how upset" he was "that the Russians tried to use our tools to sow mistrust".

"We built these tools to help people connect and to bring us closer together, and they used them to try to undermine our values. What they did is wrong, and we are not going to stand for it."

He told analysts: "We're also building new AI to detect bad content and bad actors, just like we've done with terrorist propaganda. I am dead serious about this." ®

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