Facebook on Wednesday delivered its first quarterly earnings report since the Cambridge Analytica data scandal erupted last month, raising concerns that the social network would see an engagement hit over its privacy issues.
Facebook showed at least initial resilience on Wednesday when it released its financial results from the first quarter, a period when the social network was criticized for the way it handles information about its users. This brings the numbers up to 1.45 billion daily and 2.2 billion monthly active users. Its daily and monthly active users globally reached 1.45 billion and 2.20 billion respectively, both increasing by 13 percent compared to a year earlier. Facebook also added 48 million daily users; overall, the company boasts 1.45 billion daily active users-in line with Wall Street estimates and up 13 percent year-over-year-and nearly 2.2 billion monthly active users, beating estimates of 2.19 billion and also up 13 percent year-over-year.
"Advertising revenue came in stronger than expected and that will be a big relief for Wall Street", said Ives.
Facebook's stock rose more than 4 percent in after-hours trading.
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In a prepared statement, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive officer, described the opening quarter of 2018 as one where the business faced "important challenges". Zuckerberg has said that the company failed to take a broad enough view of its responsibility to users.
Facebook has said that it hasn't noticed a meaningful decline in usage since the scandal broke and it doesn't seem to have experienced much of an advertiser exodus, either. Mark Zuckerberg's company earned almost $40 billion in advertising revenue in fiscal 2017 alone.
A recent drop in its North American users was reversed, the company added, stating that American and Canadian users had grown by 1 million individuals to 185 million over the last quarter alone.
That's the highest close in more than four years and will continue to worry the markets, especially if the climb continues into next week. Most of the users whose data has been breached are from the U.S. with 81.6 percent, while 0.6 percent (5.6 lakh) are from India.
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At this point in time, about 115 million Indonesians are Facebook users and it is worth noting that much pressure is being exerted on the firm to offer an explanation regarding how personal data got harvested by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica via a personality quiz. Facebook has said it will apply the spirit of the law to all its users, giving them new power to limit and retrieve the data they hand over to the company.
While it took a major privacy scandal to motivate Facebook, the company has engaged in a vigorous effort to appear more open and honest about its business practices. Facebook also said its employee headcount grew to 27,742, a 48 percent increase year over year.
The company's healthy ad business drew the vast majority of sales, but investors often look to the company's nascent Messenger and WhatsApp divisions as potentially massive sources of revenue in the future.
Digital platforms are now rolling out changes under the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which allows users to have more control over their data and imposes larger penalties for companies that breach the rules.
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