Science

Facebook ad revenues up year-on-year despite data and privacy scandals

Facebook ad revenues up year-on-year despite data and privacy scandals

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has praised the social media giant's positive financial performance for the first quarter of 2018.

The company made $11.97bn in revenue in the first three months of the year, up 49% from the previous year, beating Wall Street estimates of $11.41bn.

Market researcher eMarketer predicted Facebook would take 18 percent of global digital ad revenue in 2018, second only to Google.

But advertisers have shrugged off the scandals in the aggregate.

Changes to the Facebook news feed to prioritise posts from family and friends were also reflected in the quarter's data - though there was no specific update provided by the company regarding the time users spend on the site. The platform also enjoyed a 13% increase in monthly active users (2.2 billion), plus daily active users (1.45 billion alike).

Facebook's expenses will continue to grow as it invests in security and other efforts.

Facebook has spent the past month explaining, apologizing and tweaking its rules after an app developer passed along personal information on as many as 87 million users to Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, which may have failed to delete it.

Facebook shares climbed more than 4.7 percent to Dollars 167.33 in after-hours trades that followed release of the earnings figures.

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The Snapdragon 636 mobile platform is built with 14nm FinFET technology and favours in battery life and gaming performance. For selfies, the company has tucked in an 8MP front-facing snapper with LED flash and Snapdragon camera app interface.

So will this result from Facebook be enough to steady the fragile United States share markets? In total, Facebook added 48 million daily users globally during the quarter.

Zuckerberg previously said he supported the new regulation "in spirit, " and noted that the social media giant had added privacy settings for all users worldwide that complied with the European Union rule.

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.

But Williamson said some of Facebook's momentum was already fading due to other factors such as disinformation, social media fatigue and new platforms attracting young people. Facebook CFO David Wehner said that the company has recorded this hiring initiative under "sales and marketing", which he noted grew 51% year-over-year to $1.6 billion because of the "community investment" and "safety initiatives".

The company declined to provide some details sought by analysts.

Facebook is launching a pilot programme in Ireland ahead of a referendum on abortion which it hopes will ensure greater transparency in political advertising.

Sandberg rejected any suggestion that Facebook should diversify its business model away from micro-targeted advertising.

"Facebook is so large that it would take a lot of user defections to make a difference", eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson said in a recent report. "You know, I think in general technology is an increasingly important trend in the world and I actually think the question is more what's the right regulation rather than "yes" or "no" should it be regulated".


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