Facebook lost $120 billion in market value over slow growth

Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Credit Wikimedia Commons

Facebook's daily active users for the second quarter of 2018 were effectively flat in the USA sequentially, and even declined in Europe compared with Q1 - marking the first time the company has seen such a decline in recent quarters.

So far, WhatsApp doesn't show ads, and its founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton left Facebook amid disagreements over advertising and other issues.

In a research note, he said Facebook´s outlook "suggests that while the company is still growing at a fast clip, the days of 30 percent-plus growth are numbered".

The personal wealth of Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg took a major hit. About this being, you know, the moment core Facebook starts finally paying the piper, the byproduct of months of rolling scandals - Cambridge Analytica, Infowars, losing cool points to Instagram, you name it.

As a result, the company has doubled down on security. It was among the largest one-day losses of market value in USA stock market history.

If the losses hold without any recovery in price, this will mean that Facebook will hold the record for the largest single-day drop of any company in stock market history in the United States. "It's the F in FAANG, but what's to say that, 10 years from now, Facebook isn't the next Myspace and something else has taken its place?"

Overall, technology giants - Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon and others - have enjoyed nearly unprecedented growth in revenue and stock price for years.

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But revenue - up 42 percent to $13.23 billion- was slightly below the $13.34 that Wall Street was expecting.

The more than US$15 billion in net worth that Zuckerberg lost on Thursday is roughly equal to the wealth of the world's 81st-richest person, now Japanese businessman Takemitsu Takizaki, according to Forbes real-time data.

Chief financial officer David Wehner startled analysts by saying the company faced a squeeze on its business that could last years. "But as I've said on past calls, we're investing so much in security that it will significantly impact our profitability".

Nasdaq futures dropped 0.85 per cent late on Wednesday, suggesting the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite index would fall when trading opens on Thursday morning. But in addition to this we also have a responsibility to keep building services that bring people closer together in new ways as well.

The introduction of a new European privacy law has knocked user growth and engagement. That has since been exacerbated by questions over the company's role in securing private user data, its effect on the democratic process and its commitment to stemming disinformation on the site.

"GDPR was an important moment for our industry", Zuckerberg said on Wednesday.

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