Facebook beats Wall Street's revenue estimates, shares rise

Facebook beats Wall Street's revenue estimates, shares rise

Facebook beats Wall Street's revenue estimates, shares rise

Zuckerberg and company have been dealing with a lot of unhappy users, regulators, investors and advertisers after last month's scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, a digital consultancy that improperly accessed data on up to 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

Facebook posted almost $12 billion in revenue for the first three months of 2018, up almost 50% from the same period a year earlier, fueled by its ad sales strength on mobile products.

Although the impact of the scandal, which broke in mid-March, was unlikely to be reflected in the first quarter, the early signs suggested users and advertisers would remain.

Daily active users and monthly active users rose to 1.45 billion and 2.2 billion respectively.

According to the earnings release, Facebook increased its workforce by 48% to 27,742, compared with the year-earlier quarter. The company's operating expenses came in below consensus expectations, though Zuckerberg has warned they will continue to eat into Facebook's profits as it adds 20,000 workers to address security and privacy concerns.

The company is proving that even with the Cambridge Analytica scandal and concerns over user privacy and the spread of fake news, businesses can't afford to pull dollars away from Facebook's 2.2 billion monthly active users.

The better-than-expected results propelled Facebook shares 7 percent higher in USA after-hours trade, with investors relieved that the social network giant appeared unscathed financially despite getting caught up in a user data misuse controversy. Facebook will still maintain "a very strong position" relative to the rest of the ad industry she said.

But it's tough not to view his comments in the context of the current backlash facing the company, including Facebook's role in spreading misinformation and the misuse of its users' private data.

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In a media interaction, a senior IT Ministry official aware of the development confirmed that the government is on the move to send out a strong signal to global bodies operating in IT and data platform that any manipulation of data of Indians, in violation of law and the privacy norms, will be viewed "seriously".

High-profile people in the tech world said they were leaving the social network, including Brian Acton, cofounder of Facebook-owned WhatsApp, and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple.

The company declined to provide some details sought by analysts.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is the growth in Facebook's user base, despite #deleteFacebook, a movement spurring users to leave the social network and recently energized by the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Facebook data breach has snowballed into a major controversy in India with main political parties BJP and Congress accusing each other of engaging services of Cambridge Analytica to influence elections in the country. But don't expect any sweeping changes to the company's ad business yet.

Zuckerberg made the comments in response to a question about Facebook's Oculus virtual reality headset - a product that Zuckerberg believes could lay the foundation for a new and improved "people first" computing platform.

Zuckerberg said the two days of hearings this month were "an important moment for the company to hear the feedback, and to show what we're doing".

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