Despite 2018 being its most difficult year to date, Facebook has announced record profits of $6.9bn in 4Q18, up from $4.3bn the year before, marking a 61% increase.
The social media giant also saw a steady rise in a number of its key metrics as both daily active users and monthly active users saw 9% year-on-year growth. Facebook has estimated that its "family" of apps – Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp – has around two billion users across the globe.
The news of the firm's growth comes as a surprise to many as back in October 2018 it was revealed that Facebook had lost 30% of its value in three months after the company spent most of the year struggling to regain trust in the wake of a number of scandals. The company faced a number of widely reported data scandals, most significantly the Cambridge Analytica scandal which broke in March 2018 and revealed that the personal data of 50 million Facebook profiles had been harvested without the knowledge of the users.
Facebook was also plagued with rumors about the way its CEO Mark Zuckerberg dealt with colleagues and shareholders. Instagram's co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Kriege, resigned in September 2018, while investors demanded repeatedly that Zuckerberg stand down as chairman.
Following a difficult 12 months, Zuckerberg has claimed that Facebook has "fundamentally changed how [it] runs [the] company" and has significantly improved its systems to address the issues of the past year. He added that, in 2019, the company would refocus on product development to "deliver more experiences that meaningfully improve people's lives" with new innovations in messaging, payments, groups, video and hardware.