Over the years, Facebook’s quarterly performance updates have been predictable affairs. The graphs, whether those measuring revenues or numbers of users, have consistently shot up in the kind of astronomical proportions you might expect for a company that has gone from a student’s dorm room to having an annual revenue stream of $40 billion (€32.74 billion) in the space of 14 years. Yet the first quarter of 2018 has been a new experience for the social media behemoth, to put it mildly. The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal exposed the company to criticism and scrutiny unlike anything it has known before. Its stock price plummeted, its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was forced to explain himself before US Congress in a surreal display that prompted much online mirth, and some advertisers even pulled their products from Facebook. A platform that at a recent count had close to 2.2 billion users — a staggering 29 percent of the global population — was suddenly facing existential questions about its future. Would concerns over how user data was being used one by one push people away as the siren call of #deletefacebook became more seductive? Would that in turn prompt advertisers to stop using the… Read full this story
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