As Facebook Tries to Put ‘Privacy First,’ Stock Drops Sharply

Social media giant has had a very controversial quarter — as reflected on Wall Street Thursday morning

Facebook’s stock dropped a whopping 20 percent on Thursday morning after investors were spooked by the company’s slower-than-expected growth.

A quarterly earnings report for the social media empire showed that ad revenue and user numbers were well below Wall Street expectations. Overall revenue stood at $13.2 billion for the quarter — but that was still a disappointing number for many.

Facebook has become an increasingly controversial company. Consumers have had serious privacy concerns in recent months — which explains the low user numbers. The Cambridge Analytica controversy revealed that over 80 million people on the service had their information used without permission.

The company has also faced scrutiny over what appears to be a bias toward left-leaning media companies.

Facebook CFO David Wehner reportedly said in a conference call with analysts that Facebook sales growth will slow as the company focuses more on privacy protection and user experience.

He also said that as sales slow, costs are expected to grow. He promised “billions of dollars per year” would be spent on security and privacy. He said the company is working to put “privacy first.”

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Despite the recent troubles, Facebook has a staggering reach — and Wehner reminded analysts of this during his call. A whopping 2.5 billion people used at least one of the Facebook apps (this include Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) last month.

Said Wehner of the number: “We believe this number better reflects the size of our community.”

Tom Joyce
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Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, ESPN, and other outlets.

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