Facebook posts record revenues for first quarter despite privacy scandal

26 April, 2018, 12:44 | Author: Grady Montgomery
  • Facebook posts record revenues for first quarter despite privacy scandal

According to Facebook's earnings report, it added almost 70 million monthly active users last quarter, with many coming from the Asia-Pacific region, but millions more hailing from the USA and Canada.

Overall, Facebook reported first quarter earnings of $11.96 billion, up from $8.03 billion a year ago; earnings per share (EPS) rose from $1.04 billion to $1.69 billion.

Despite the ongoing crisis that the company faces, Facebook's reported earnings for the first quarter of 2018 have beaten Wall Street's estimates, although they are still down since the previous quarter. Amidst reports of the data breach, it was alleged that Indian political parties also employed the use of Cambridge Analytica to influence elections in India, giving rise to controversy.

Both daily active users (DAUs) and monthly active users (MAUs) saw an increase of 13 per cent year-over-year (y-o-y).

Facebook has come under intense public pressure in the past six weeks, after revelations that British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica misused the personal information of more than 87 million Facebook users.

Facebook's stock rose more than 4 percent in after-hours trading.

Yet despite the challenges, Facebook's extensive role in advertising strategies was made apparent in the quarterly results.

The company also has plenty of properties where it's starting to make more money beyond the main social network, like the popular chat apps WhatsApp and Messenger and the photo-sharing app Instagram, which is expected to reach a billion users this year.




Facebook's chief financial officer, Dave Wehner, warned that GDPR could lead to a fall in users and revenue in Europe, particularly as people start tightening up their accounts to prevent so much targeted advertising.

"One of my great regrets in how we've run the company so far is I feel like we didn't get to shape the way that mobile platforms developed as much as would have been good", Zuckerberg said.

The social media giant has overhauled many of its privacy and data-sharing policies amid a campaign to #deleteFacebook.

However, "from now on", says the video, "Facebook will do more to keep you safe and protect your privacy".

After conversations with ad agencies and ad tech companies, Salmon believes some will see a decline in the profitability of their ads as a result of the change. A handful of advertisers, including Mozilla, maker of internet browser Firefox, pulled their ads from Facebook.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal, which has sparked government investigations globally, was mentioned only once on an hour-long conference call between analysts and Facebook management, when one analyst asked Zuckerberg what he learned from testifying in USA congressional hearings.

Tighter regulation could make Facebook's ads less lucrative by reducing the kinds of data it can use to personalize and target ads to users, although Facebook's size means it could also be well positioned to cope with regulations.

Early this month, Zuckerberg fended off questions from U.S. senators about how the organisation could be regulated more closely.

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