Facebook sees biggest fall in corporate history as shares lose $120bn

Facebook suffers its worst loss ever in history

This translates to a US$124 billion decline in market capitalization, which is the largest ever loss of value in one day for a USA traded company.

The company earned $5.1 billion, or $1.74 per share, up 31 percent and above analysts' estimates of $1.71.

Nathanson also voiced concerns about Facebook's next act, once its namesake social media platform and Instagram are fully built out.

Shares tumbled as much as 20 per cent in NY on Thursday as sales and user growth disappointed investors.

Now come the big questions: Is this a temporary setback, or the start of a painful new road for the giant social network?

Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said the company could afford to be patient until those apps reached 1 billion users. If the sell-off hits those levels in Thursday trading, it will mark one the largest collapses in value ever suffered by a USA -traded company in a day.

Zuckerberg has said he did not expect a meaningful impact from the uproar over data hijacked by political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, but the last quarter's figures suggested some cooling.

The second-quarter results were the first sign that a new European privacy law and a succession of privacy scandals involving Cambridge Analytica and other app developers have bit into Facebook's business.

Even so, Faceboook's crash dwarves that of the previous record holder, Intel, who lost $91 billion (£69 million).

"The company has not managed its growth as well as most of us thought, " Wieser wrote. But Zuckerberg acknowledged on Wednesday's earnings call that "security is not a problem that you ever fully solve". CEO Mark Zuckerberg has defended Holocaust deniers.

Operating margins will trend in the 30 per cent range, Facebook said, compared to the more than 40 per cent investors had gotten used to. Facebook's daily active users in Europe fell by three million in the quarter amid the new regulation.

Siva Vaidhyanathan, a media studies professor at the University of Virginia and author of the new book, "Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy", dismissed the significance of the stock plunge.

For the first time, Facebook announced the global reach of all of its applications - Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.

Still, that was slightly below Wall Street expectations.

David Wehner, Facebook's chief financial officer, made a series of bombshell announcements yesterday when he warned markets the revenue slowdown will continue for some time. But the after-hours drop wiped about $150 billion of its value. "The future is going to be different". "Even if engagement is negatively impacted, it still has incredible, unprecedented reach", Munster added.

Another one of the fastest-growing Internet companies, Netflix, has given investors a scare that the ride is coming to an end.