SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- U.S. social media giant Facebook Wednesday reported strong growth in revenue, earning 16.91 billion U.S. dollars in the fourth quarter ending on Dec. 31, 2018.

Despite a tumultuous year marked by data breach, privacy policy disputes and heavy scrutiny from federal regulator and lawmakers, Facebook's Q4 earnings increased 30 percent year-onr-year from 12.97 billion dollars in the same period of 2017, beating Wall Street's expectations of 16.39 billion dollars in revenue.

The Northern California-based company posted 6.88 billion dollars in net income for the fourth quarter, which represented 2.38 dollars a share, up from 1.44 dollars a share in the previous period.

For most of 2018, Facebook grappled with a host of troubles such as the scandal involving former British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which was accused of illegally accessing data of more than 87 million Facebook users without their prior knowledge.

It was also grilled by other headaches like foreign interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, fake news and questioning about its content moderation on its platform.