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Mark Zuckerberg speaking in APEC CEO Summit in Lima
Mark Zuckerberg speaking in APEC CEO Summit in Lima. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

Facebook Commits to Boost Security Even at the Expense of Profits

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Mark Zuckerberg speaking in APEC CEO Summit in Lima. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

The largest social media network in the world has underscored its determination to overcome the reputational scars from concerns over its security and Russian influence.

This represents Facebook’s latest move to heal its brand following allegations connected to its international influence over last year’s U.S. presidential election.

Even Reputation Damage Hasn’t Stopped the Profits

Despite everything Facebook is going through and all the accusations against the social network regarding Russia’s influence over the 2016 American elections, the company’s profits climb ever higher. Its reports on Q3 2017 show more than $10.3 billion in total revenues.  This represents an astounding 47 percent year over year growth and about a 10 percent quarter over quarter growth.

That said, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the company intends to place a far greater focus on its security as it moves forward. In fact, security will be such a high priority that the CEO promised that the company would sacrifice some of its profitability if that was what was required to achieve improved security.

“Our community continues to grow and our business is doing well,” said Zuckerberg in a statement. “But none of that matters if our services are used in ways that don’t bring people closer together. We’re serious about preventing abuse on our platforms. We’re investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability. Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits.”

Mobile Advertising is Facebook’s Golden Goose

Of the social network’s $10.3 billion in revenues during the third quarter, the vast majority, $10.1 billion, was generated by advertising.  Of the revenues brought in via advertising, approximately 88 percent occurred over mobile channels.  This represents a 4 percent growth over the second quarter.

Facebook also boasts continuing growth in its active user base.  It now claims 2.07 billion monthly users, among whom 1.37 billion are active on a daily basis.  Those figures equate to a 16 percent year over year increase.

To Maintain the Trend, Zuckerberg is Acting Decisively

Zuckerberg knows that Facebook’s ability to keep up these positive trends relies on a strong and secure advertising reputation.  The headlines regarding YouTube’s ad security struggles were enough to cause any marketing platform CEO to bristle.

Zuckerberg used the recent earnings call to provide more information regarding his Russian interference concerns in the U.S. presidential election.  He stated that his continued upset over the way the “Russians used our tools to sow mistrust and undermine our values.” He pointed out how strongly he disagreed with those actions and that they would not tolerate them.

This has led to a strong investment into boosting Facebook’s security strategies.  Among those efforts include a doubling of its security team workforce from 10,000 to 20,000 people.  Their focus will be on enforcing the social network’s community standards. Zuckerberg did clarify that some of the new hires were to be contractors as opposed to full time Facebook employees.

They will be supported by additional artificial intelligence (AI) technology for promptly spotting security issues.  Facebook’s team will work alongside the teams at other tech companies to be able to rapidly respond to national security threats.

“I am dead serious about this,” said Zuckerberg. “We want to make our society stronger.”

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.