What data scandal? Facebook is growing

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Facebook's mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 91 per cent of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2018, up from approximately 85 per cent of advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2017. Many users said they would delete their accounts, raising fears that the service was facing a major crisis.

Facebook had said that globally personal information of up to 87 million users, mostly in the USA, may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica. More than 1.45 billion people check Facebook at least once a day, a 13 percent increase from a year earlier. Employee head count was up almost 50 per cent from the same period past year, to more than 27,700. Operating costs were lower than forecast by analysts but CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned they will continue to eat into Facebook's profits as it adds 20,000 workers to address security and privacy concerns in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the rise in scepticism abut the company.

Facebook disclosed in March that a London-based consultancy, Cambridge Analytica, had harvested data belonging to millions of users.

Facebook's shares rose 6.8 per cent in after-hours trading to US$170.56.

The latest remedy the company has released to try and deal with its public image problem comes in the form of a new video, which looks fondly back on what made the platform so successful in its earlier days, and self-critically examines what factors have caused its downhill slide since. In total, 87 million users were affected.

"Further, it remains to be seen whether or not the way in which attempts by Facebook (and everyone who sells digital advertising) to adhere to GDPR will withstand regulatory scrutiny and avoid significant related fines in Europe". In a Wednesday report, Facebook FB posted $4.99 billion in quarterly profits on sales of $11.97 billion, topping analysts' average estimates of $4.01 billion for net income and $11.41 billion in revenue.

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The government on Wednesday served a second set of notices to social networking giant Facebook and political analysis firm Cambridge Analytca. Although it was suggested that the firm may have used the data to target specific ads toward potential voters during its work for the Trump campaign, spokesman Clarence Mitchell claimed this week that the company decided not to use the information after realizing it was "ineffectual".

On a conference call, chief financial officer David Wehner said the average monthly and daily user growth in Europe could be flat or down as the European Union brings tough new privacy regulations on May 25.

When asked about the business impact of the changes at the February Morgan Stanley tech conference in San Francisco, Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Wehner told analysts that spending less time on the platform doesn't necessarily mean a corresponding decline in revenue.

"That's what makes Facebook so important to so many people, and that's our responsibility too", said Zuckerberg.

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

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