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Facebook’s Profit Surge in Q1 with 2.2bn Users

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

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Tweeters unable to automatically save tweets to facebook. Pixabay
Tweeters unable to automatically save tweets to facebook. Pixabay
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Embroiled in a massive data breach controversy, Facebook has beaten Wall Street’s estimates by raking in $11.97 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2018.

The social media giant reported $4.98 billion in profit — up from $4.26 billion in the last quarter.

“Despite facing important challenges, our community continues to grow. More than 2.2 billion people now use Facebook every month and more than 1.4 billion people use it daily,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted late Wednesday.

Facebook stock gained more than 4 per cent in after-hours trading and was up 7 per cent following its conference call.

Facebook added 70 million monthly active users (MAUs) to reach 2.196 billion globally — a 3.14 per cent growth rate.

Both daily active users (DAUs) and monthly active users (MAUs) saw an increase of 13 per cent year-over-year (y-o-y).

Facebook page.
Facebook. Pixabay

“We are taking a broader view of our responsibility and investing to make sure our services are used for good. But we also need to keep building new tools to help people connect, strengthen our communities, and bring the world closer together,” Zuckerberg said, who had recently testified before the US Congress over Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica was found misusing users’ data collected by a Facebook quiz app which used the “Login with Facebook” feature. In total, 87 million users were affected.

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.

Facebook currently has 27,742 employees — an increase of 48 per cent y-o-y.

Also Read: Facebook Takes Action on The Terror-Related Content

“Our focus in 2018 is to keep people safe and to keep building the experiences people expect from us. We are taking a broader view of our responsibility — to not only give people powerful tools but to make sure these tools are used for good.

“At the same time, we also need to keep building new services that bring people together in meaningful new ways. That’s what makes Facebook so important to so many people, and that’s our responsibility too,” said Zuckerberg.

According to Zuckerberg, Facebook’s initiative Internet.org has now helped almost 100 million people connect to the internet, up from 40 million in November 2016.  IANS

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The European Union Warns Facebook Over Consumer’s Data Usage

Facebook said it has already updated its terms of service in May to incorporate changes recommended at that point by EU authorities.

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Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration. VOA

The European Union’s consumer protection chief said Thursday she’s growing impatient with Facebook’s efforts to improve transparency with users about their data, warning it could face sanctions for not complying.

EU Consumer Commissioner Vera Jourova turned up the pressure on the social media giant, saying she wants the company to update its terms of service and expects to see its proposed changes by mid-October so they can take effect in December.

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European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova attends an interview with Reuters at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. VOA

“I will not hide that I am becoming rather impatient because we have been in dialogue with Facebook almost two years and I really want to see, not the progress — it’s not enough for me — but I want to see the results,” Jourova said.

The EU wants Facebook to give users more information about how their data is used and how it works with third party makers of apps, games and quizzes.

“If we do not see the progress the sanctions will have to come,” she said. She didn’t specify punishment, saying they would be applied by individual countries. “I was quite clear we cannot negotiate forever, we just want to see the result.”

The EU has been pressing the U.S. tech company to look at what changes it needs to make to better protect consumers and this year Facebook has had to adapt to new EU data protection rules. The concerns took on greater urgency after the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal erupted, in which data on 87 million Facebook users was allegedly improperly harvested.

Jourova said she hopes Facebook will take more responsibility for its nearly 380 million European users.

“We want Facebook to be absolutely clear to its users about how their service operates and makes money,” she said.

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An advertisement in The New York Times is displayed on Sunday, March 25, 2018, in New York. Facebook’s CEO apologized for the Cambridge Analytica scandal with ads in multiple U.S. and British newspapers. VOA

Facebook said it has already updated its terms of service in May to incorporate changes recommended at that point by EU authorities.

The company said it “will continue our close cooperation to understand any further concerns and make appropriate updates.”

Jourova also said U.S.-based property rental site Airbnb has agreed to clarify its pricing system in response to complaints that it could mislead consumers.

Airbnb has promised to be fully transparent by either including extra fees in the total price for a booking quoted on its website or notifying users that they might apply, she said.

 

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U.S.-based property rental site Airbnb has agreed to clarify its pricing system in response to complaints that it could mislead consumers. Flickr

The company is complying with EU demands spurred by concerns that consumers could be confused by its complicated pricing structure, which could add unexpected costs such as cleaning charges at the end of a holiday.

Airbnb is also changing its terms of service to make it clear that travelers can sue their host if they suffer personal harm or other damages. That’s in response to complaints that its booking system can leave tourists stranded if the rental is canceled when all other arrangements have been already made.

Also Read: EU Regulators Question Online Retailer Amazon’s Data Usage

Airbnb said “guests have always been aware of all fees, including service charges and taxes, before booking listings,” and will work with authorities to make it even clearer. (VOA)