Facebook on Wednesday reported that its quarterly profit grew along with its user base as it grapples with concerns ranging from political ads to cryptocurrency.

The leading social network said its profit topped $6 billion on revenue that climbed 28 percent to $17.4 billion in the quarter that ended on September 30.

Meanwhile, the number of active monthly users increased eight percent from a year ago to 2.45 billion.

"We had a good quarter and our community and business continue to grow," said Facebook chief and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

"We are focused on making progress on major social issues and building new experiences that improve people's lives around the world."

Facebook shares rose more than 2.5 percent in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures, which beat Wall Street expectations.

"I'm not surprised by Facebook's strong performance last quarter. Advertisers continue to support Facebook, despite the many controversies swirling around the company, and the user base also continues to expand around the world," said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson.

Leading technology firms met with American officials at Facebook's campus in the city of Menlo Park
Leading technology firms met with American officials at Facebook's campus in the city of Menlo Park AFP / LOIC VENANCE

"Yes, Facebook has a lot of challenges it must deal with, but increasing its revenue and user count isn't one of them."

The California-based company said that costs rose 32 percent in the quarter, which ended with a headcount of 43,030 employees, an increase of 28 percent from the same quarter last year.

Facebook has been beefing up teams devoted to privacy and security to protect people's data and thwart the kind of voter manipulation campaigns seen during the US election three years ago.

The earnings release came just hours after Facebook announced it took down accounts linked to a Russian ally of President Vladimir Putin seeking to spread disinformation in eight African countries.

The influence operations hiding behind fake identities were traced back to Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has been indicted in the United States in connection with a campaign targeting the 2016 US elections.

"Each of these operations created networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing," Facebook cybersecurity chief Nathaniel Gleicher said in a statement.

"We're constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don't want our services to be used to manipulate people."

The accounts originated in Russia and targeted Madagascar, Central African Republic, Mozambique Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Sudan and Libya, according to Facebook.