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Facebook posts record revenues for first quarter despite privacy scandal

John Sulston

The company is proving that even with the Cambridge Analytica scandal and concerns over user privacy and the spread of fake news, businesses can't afford to pull dollars away from Facebook's 2.2 billion monthly active users.

A senior IT ministry official aware of the development said that the government wants to send out a "strong signal" to global bodies operating in IT and data platform that any manipulation of data of Indians, in violation of law and privacy norms, will be viewed "seriously".

While Facebook had admitted that almost 5.62 lakh people in India were "potentially affected" by the data breach incident, Cambridge Analytica had claimed that it does not have any Facebook data on Indian citizens. To comply with the new law, Facebook recently committed to asking all of its users how their data can be used to power targeted ads and facial-recognition technology.

To deal with the rapid growth, Facebook has been hiring more and more people.

In a prepared statement, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive officer, described the opening quarter of 2018 as one where the business faced "important challenges".

The social networking giant said Wednesday that first quarter revenue jumped 49% year-over-year to $12 billion versus an expected $11.4 billion and earnings per share of $1.69, easily beating analyst estimates of $1.35.

"While I considered deleting Facebook, I understand the importance and reach Facebook has to keep an open channel of communication with our customers", says Mike Seper, owner of Eco Adventure Ziplines.

Facebook is at the most perilous moment in its 14-year history. Stoked by fears that the data may have been used to try and influence elections in the USA and Europe and the discovery that Facebook collects a lot more data than the average person realises (including web browsing history and, in some cases, text messages), some users have started a #DeleteFacebook movement, including the co-founder of the Facebook-owned WhatsApp. The strategy does persuade many people to book another time slot - but it might also make them feel like they're being tracked, says digital marketing director Drew Roberts.

The shakeup comes a month after The New York Times and the UK's Guardian and Observer newspapers broke news that millions of Facebook users' data had been leaked to a political consulting firm called Cambridge Analytica, which had done work for the Donald Trump presidential campaign. Facebook will still maintain "a very strong position" relative to the rest of the ad industry she said.

Name SearchWatch Service' David Murphy has cut the company's Facebook budget by 5 percent because he's still concerned about users' personal information being passed on to third parties.

Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 91% of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2018. There has not been a meaningful trend since, Sandberg added.