What happened

Shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) rose as much as 5.2% on Thursday as investors digested the social network's strong third-quarter update. As of 12:37 p.m. EDT, however, shares were up only 2.1%.

Investors' optimism for the tech stock on Thursday wasn't surprising. The company crushed analyst estimates for its third-quarter revenue and earnings per share.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg discusses the company's 10-year roadmap at F8 2018

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Image source: Facebook.

So what

Third-quarter revenue was $17.7 billion, up 29% year over year. On average, analysts were expecting revenue of $17.4 billion. EPS of $2.12 similarly soared past analysts' consensus estimate for $1.91. Notably, the company's revenue growth rate represented an acceleration from 28% in Q2.

Facebook's daily active users also rose nicely, increasing by 9% year over year to 1.62 billion.

Now what

Looking to Q4, management continued to forecast a meaningful deceleration in its revenue growth rate. But it now provided more-specific guidance for the period.

"We expect our Q4 reported revenue growth rate will decelerate by mid to high single-digit percentage compared to our Q3 rate," CFO Dave Wehner said in the company's third-quarter earnings call. "This deceleration is largely driven by the lapping of several successful product optimizations in Q4 of last year, as well as ad-targeting related headwinds."

But Wehner said its deceleration in 2020 compared with its fourth-quarter revenue growth rate should be "much less pronounced."