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By Reuters

Despite privacy scandals and growing political and social backlash, Facebook announced quarterly earnings on Wednesday that showed few signs of trouble.

Facebook topped analysts' estimates for quarterly revenue and profit, helped by growth in its Instagram business and a steady rise in advertising spending by companies.

Facebook's stock price jumped sharply following the earnings announcement, adding 12 percent in after-hours trading. Facebook shares remain down about 23 percent from their peak in 2018.

"Our community and business continue to grow," Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, said in the earnings release. "We've fundamentally changed how we run our company to focus on the biggest social issues, and we're investing more to build new and inspiring ways for people to connect."

While the social network has been the subject of some calls for users to deactivate their accounts, monthly active users rose to 2.32 billion, in line with estimates, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Facebook even added about a million users in North America.

Net income attributable to Facebook shareholders rose to $6.88 billion, or $2.38 per share, in the fourth quarter ended December 31, from $4.27 billion, or $1.44 per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue rose to $16.91 billion from $12.97 billion. Analysts were expecting revenue of $16.39 billion and profit of $2.19 per share.

"The worst is over for this social media giant," said Haris Anwar, an analyst at Investing.com: "Its ad business and user engagement haven’t been affected despite all the negative blows of the past year.”

Facebook has pledged to focus on the privacy and security of the world's largest social network after a series of scandals over improperly shared user data and propaganda hurt its image and made it the target of political scrutiny across the globe.