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Facebook beats 2nd quarter revenue expectations even as ad industry struggles

Pretty much every business suffered in 2020's second financial quarter. Well, except Facebook.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating effect on the U.S. GDP, pushing it down 9.5 percent from the first quarter and 32.9 percent from the year before. But Facebook's revenue still grew 11 percent from Q1 to Q2, beating economists' expectations, the company revealed Thursday.

Facebook's 11 percent revenue growth is the smallest quarterly growth it has seen since it became a public company. Previously, its first quarter growth of 18 percent was its smallest. But on average, analysts only expected Facebook's revenue to grow to $17.3 billion in Q2, making its $18.6 billion reality a win, Bloomberg notes. Facebook's profit growth of $5.18 billion also meant shareholders made out well with a $1.80 gain per share, beating estimates of $1.39.

The growth came even though Facebook started facing a major advertiser boycott in July. Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Unilever, and other huge companies stopped buying ads on Facebook and other social media sites over their failure to appropriately combat hate speech on their platforms.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress on Wednesday for an anti-trust hearing, where he faced questions about how the company's digital ad model contributed to the decline of local news, and also Twitter, for some reason.