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Zuckerberg promises more privacy as Facebook stocks plunge

Mark Zuckerberg has pledged increased investment in privacy after Facebook saw its shares slump 24% in out of hours trading as second quarter figures revealed slowing user growth.

Facebook reported 11% global growth in users, the lowest growth rate since 2011. In North America, the key Daily Active User measure remained stagnant at 185 million while European DAUs fell from 282m to 279m.

Zuckerberg: “We run this company for the long term, not for the next quarter.”

The out of hours stock trading on the stagnant figures was brutal with Facebook’s stock collapsing despite the company reporting a 42% year on year increase in advertising revenue to $13bn for the quarter.

Facebook’s results follow a horror start to the year for the company which saw Zuckerberg forced to defend the company after revelations of privacy lapses following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

“We did see a decline in monthly actives in Europe — down by about 1 million people as a result,” Zuckerberg told investors. “At the same time, it was encouraging to see the vast majority of people affirm that they want us to use context — including from websites they visit — to make their ads more relevant and improve their overall product experience.

“Looking ahead, we will continue to invest heavily in security and privacy because we have a responsibility to keep people safe. But as I’ve said on past calls, we’re investing so much in security that it will significantly impact our profitability. We’re starting to see that this quarter. But in addition to this we also have a responsibility to keep building services that bring people closer together in new ways as well.

“In light of increased investment in security, we could choose to decrease our investment in new product areas, but we’re not going to — because that wouldn’t be the right way to serve our community and because we run this company for the long term, not for the next quarter.”

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