Facebook stumbled from one affair to the next last year. Only on Wednesday there was again a controversy over the handling of the company with data, which also escalated a long-smoldering dispute with the electronics company Apple further. But at least so far, this does not seem to hurt the business of the social network. The company reported significantly better quarterly results than expected on Wednesday. The share price increased temporarily by more than 12 percent after the stock market.
Perhaps most notably, Facebook was able to stop worrying trends in user numbers. In Europe, where the number of daily Facebook users has fallen for two quarters in a row, this time it grew from 278 million to 282 million.
In the North American home market, the number rose after two quarters of stagnation from 185 million to 186 million. And the advertisers, with whom Facebook earns his money, apparently remain loyal to the company. Sales climbed 30 percent to $ 16.9 billion in the past three months.
While this was behind the 33 percent growth seen in the previous quarter, Facebook had predicted a more pronounced slowdown and analysts had expected an average of just $ 16.4 billion. COO Sheryl Sandberg said in a conference call with analysts that Facebook now has seven million advertisers. Net profit rose 61 percent to a record $ 6.9 billion, with earnings per share of $ 2.38 19 cents better than expected.
Facebook expects lower revenue growth in the current quarter than in the past three months, as well as a further slowdown over the year. He did not justify this with the various affairs around the company, but with a change in user behavior.
More and more users are sharing content about “story” features, where unlike the traditional Facebook experience, they are not permanent but only for a limited time. However, the ads that serve Stories content are not bringing in as much money as classic Facebook ads.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to assure that the social network had not been idle in the wake of this turbulence. “We have fundamentally changed the way we run our business.” He pointed out, for example, that more than 30,000 people were now working to make Facebook safer. Two years ago, it was 10,000.
Prior to quarterly figures, a new privacy controversy had sparked excitement around Facebook. As the technology blog “Techcrunch” reported, the company paid teens and adults for an app on Apple’s iPhonesor to install smartphones with the operating system Android, which gave him far-reaching access to data on the devices.
The data that Facebook was able to collect through the app includes, according to the report, private messages on social networks, emails, Internet searches, websites visited, and user location information. The access to the devices is “almost limitless”, it goes on. The users of the app are even encouraged to photographing via a “screenshot” what they have ordered from the online retailer Amazon.com.