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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

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.

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“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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Social Networking Giant Facebook Allows Ads to Promote Anti-vaccine Content

“We’re currently working on additional changes that we’ll be announcing soon.”

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Facebook, photos
This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Facebook has enabled advertisers to promote anti-vaccine content to nearly nine lakh people interested in “vaccine controversies”, the media reported.

The social networking giant is already facing pressure to stop promoting anti-vaccine propaganda to users amid global concern over vaccine hesitancy and a measles outbreak in the Pacific northwest.

Advertisers pay to reach groups of people on Facebook which include those interested in “Dr Tenpenny on Vaccines”, which refers to anti-vaccine activist Sherri Tenpenny, and “informed consent”, which is language that anti-vaccine propagandists have adopted to fight vaccination laws, The Guardian reported on Friday.

On Thursday, California congressman Adam Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, in letters to Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, urged them to take more responsibility for health-related misinformation on their platforms.

“The algorithms which power these services are not designed to distinguish quality information from misinformation or misleading information, and the consequences of that are particularly troubling for public health issues,” Schiff wrote.

“I am concerned by the report that Facebook accepts paid advertising that contains deliberate misinformation about vaccines,” he added.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

In 2017, ProPublica, a US-based non-profit organisation, revealed that the platform included targeting categories for people interested in a number of anti-Semitic phrases, such as “How to burn Jews” or “Jew hater”.

While the anti-Semitic categories found by ProPublica were automatically generated and were too small to run effective ad campaigns by themselves, the “vaccine controversies” category contains nearly nine lakh people, and “informed consent” from about 340,000. The Tenpenny category only includes 720 people, which is too few to run a campaign.

Facebook declined to comment on the ad targeting categories, but said it was looking into the issue, The Guardian reported.

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“We’ve taken steps to reduce the distribution of health-related misinformation on Facebook, but we know we have more to do,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement responding to Schiff’s letter.

“We’re currently working on additional changes that we’ll be announcing soon.” (IANS)