FACEBOOK boss Mark Zuckerberg's personal wealth rose by a mind-boggling $27.3 BILLION in 2019, says a report.
The giant leap comes despite hostility from both users and lawmakers over the social media firm's integrity, and handling of user data.
Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates was also a money-spinner in 2019, raking in $22.7billion, reports Fortune.
It said that 172 billionaires in the US on the latest Bloomberg ranking "added $500billion" in personal wealth.
The report comes two months after Facebook Inc reported a spike in users in lucrative markets, and its third straight rise in quarterly sales growth.
Zuckerberg, who started Facebook from his Harvard Uni dorm room, had expected "a very tough year".
But, Associated Press reported in October that Facebook reported solid third-quarter results, showing steady growth in its user base.
Facebook ended the quarter with 2.45billion monthly users, up eight per cent from a year earlier.
It also said that about 2.8billion people use at least one of its services — Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram — at least once a month.
Debra Aho Williamson, an eMarketer analyst, said: “Advertisers continue to support Facebook, despite the many controversies swirling around the company, and the user base also continues to expand around the world.
“Facebook has a lot of challenges it must deal with, but increasing its revenue and user count isn’t one of them.”
Away from the impressive stats, it continues to face regulatory threats and criticism over its power and negative effects on society.
Facebook is standing by its criticised decision to not fact-check political ads, with Zuckerberg insisting it's because the company doesn't want to stymie free speech.
The company, based in Menlo Park, California, has had a rough couple of years and is under growing regulatory scrutiny around the world.
In America, it faces several government investigations for alleged anti-competitive behaviour, including probes by the Federal Trade Commission and 46 state attorneys general.