Facebook reports 1.45 billion daily averages users in Q1 2018 earnings

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The social networking platform took in $11.9 billion over the first three months of 2018, an increase of 49 percent from a year ago.

Zuckerberg two faced questioning in congressional panels about revelations that personal data was harvested on 87 million users by Cambridge Analytica, a consultancy working for Donald Trump's 2016 campaign. "It ensures people see more useful ads, allows businesses to grow, and keeps the service free".

The company said ad revenues totalled $US26.642 billion in the three months to March 31, up $US5.232 billion from $US21.411 billion in the same quarter of 2017. It reported 1.45 billion users who visit the site daily and 2.2 billion monthly users.

Facebook chief financial officer David Wehner said use of the social network might ebb slightly in Europe due to GDPR, but executives were confident its ad business was on firm footing since the rules affect its competitors as well. The category includes efforts to root out fake accounts, scrub hate speech and take down violent videos.

Visitors take photos in front of the Facebook logo at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on March 28.

Shares [NAS:FB] rose about 7% to $US170.80. It is projected to report daily active users of 1.45 billion, the average of analyst estimates, compared with 1.4 billion in the fourth quarter. Analysts were calling for the network to bring in adjusted earnings of $1.35 per share, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters. He told analysts the public testimony was an "important moment" for the company. Because Facebook's ads are in demand, when the social network constricts the supply ad prices typically rise - and should that happen and prices remain constant or fall, it would likely signal a weaker demand from advertisers. Facebook also owns the popular smartphone apps Messenger and WhatsApp.

"The impact of the business is much more muted because we're still seeing that there's lots of post engagement", he said.

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Facebook Inc. has been embroiled in one controversy after another.

The company said it was increasing the amount of money authorized to repurchase shares by an additional $9 billion.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg faces Wall Street for the first time since the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Heading into the earnings result, analysts were concerned about how much an ongoing backlash among users, advertisers and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic could slow down a company once viewed as unstoppable.

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 US congressional hearings.

Steps outlined by Zuckerberg to address these areas include restricting the data developers can access; building more artificial intelligence tools to detect and remove fake accounts ahead of elections in both the U.S. and Europe last year, and doubling the headcount working on security and content review to more than 20,000 by the end of this year.

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