Sci-tech

With 2.2bn users, Facebook's profits soar in Q1

With 2.2bn users, Facebook's profits soar in Q1

Facebook's revenue, which largely derives from ads, soared 49 percent to $12 billion in the first three months of the year.

But advertisers have shrugged off the scandals in the aggregate.

Revelations of the improperly handled data of 87 million users did nothing to stop Facebook Inc.'s money machine.

The number of daily active users for Facebook was 1.45 billion on average for March 2018 - and increase of 13 per cent year on year.

Facebook has been asked a whole lot of fresh details from the volume of data collected, how it is collected, consent, authorisation of apps on Facebook platform along with why the site that has 27 per cent of its business coming from India failed to detect the breach. 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.

One of the allegations in the Cambridge Analytica scandal was that data from millions of Facebook users was used to help micro-target political ads to select groups meaning that only those most susceptible to the message would see the advertisements.

In the hours following the release of the first-quarter numbers, company shares climbed more than 5.5 percent to $168.50.

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

Facebook's struggles with mobile have impacted the company before, most notably when Facebook was slow to move its advertising business to mobile after its 2012 IPO and its stock tanked.

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.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg faces Wall Street for the first time since the Cambridge Analytica scandal. That's despite a #deleteFacebook movement encouraged defections in wake of not only privacy problems but concerns about widespread abuse on the platform, including the fake news misinformation campaigns dating to before the 2016 presidential election.

To deal with the rapid growth, Facebook has been hiring more and more people.

"While we don't expect the changes will have a significant impact on ad revenue, any change in our ability for us and advertisers to use data can impact our optimisation potential at the margin", he said.

"Cambridge Analytica's research showed that the personality types licensed by the Kogan data underperformed when compared to more traditional ways of grouping people by demographics", Mitchell said during a press conference on Tuesday.

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. The question for analysts will be whether the declines are truly Facebook's own design or a reflection of user preference.

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


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