What happened

Shares of Facebook (META -0.28%) climbed 15.6% in August, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The social media giant is one of the FAANG stocks that's been driving the market to record highs in the last month. Facebook's stock has also been scaling new all-time highs and is up an impressive 39.8% year to date.

Man tapping on social media on his mobile phone

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

As economies around the world slowly open up, Facebook has seen explosive growth in the number of users, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg described as "record levels" in the company's last conference call. WhatsApp Business now has 50 million users, and the company has created grant programs to help businesses through the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Advertisers could also stream back to Facebook after a high-profile boycott back in July, though the top 100 advertisers only made up 16% of revenue for the second quarter, so the impact may not be significant.

On the app front, Facebook is adding a new tab, Facebook Shops, that will allow users to discover businesses and products. This feature allows any retailer to upload a product catalog and begin selling through Facebook quickly and conveniently. The functionality is akin to Instagram Shop and should help connect more users to retailers as more businesses are on Facebook than Instagram.

And in mid-August, Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014, announced that it will soon merge Oculus and Facebook accounts. This could be the start of Facebook leveraging on Oculus data for more targeted ads, which should boost advertising revenue for the company.

Now what

It's not all clear skies for Facebook, though. The current optimism may be disrupted by new privacy protection measures announced by Apple (AAPL 0.02%). Apple intends to reduce the ease of tracking for advertisers to target ads for specific customers. Although it is not clear what this impact may have on Facebook, it could potentially open up more competition for the social media giant and make it less lucrative for advertisers to use its platform.