Facebook Sales Rise Despite Data Scandal

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Profit in the first quarter of 2018 jumped 63 percent from a year ago to United States dollars 5 billion, and total revenues increased 49 percent to USD 11.97 billion, Facebook said in an earnings update which topped most analyst forecasts.

Nearly all of Facebook's advertising revenue, 91%, is from mobile advertising, a year-on-year increase from 85%.

People keep flocking to Facebook and the social network keeps raking in money by selling them ads, privacy scandals or not.

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. The numbers indicate the company does that extremely well: Facebook said it made an average $5.45 in advertising revenue on each user worldwide in the quarter, and an average $23.14 on ad sales for each user in the USA and Canada.

Facebook said it ended the first quarter with 27,742 employees, up 48 percent from a year earlier.

"Despite facing important challenges, our community continues to grow".

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The Cambridge Analytica scandal, affecting up to 87 million users and prompting several apologies from Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, generated calls for regulation and for users to leave the social network, but there was no indication advertisers immediately changed their spending. His firm holds about 73,000 shares in Facebook. Facebook has over 20 crore users in the country. Still, the company's persistent growth points to the strength of its digital-ad business, despite growing concerns from advertisers, users and lawmakers in the past year.

High-profile people in the tech world said they were leaving the social network, including Brian Acton, cofounder of Facebook-owned WhatsApp, and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple. The government has also sought information about the entities working under CA along with the details of their directors. Its operating profit, $5.45 billion for the quarter, also beat estimates of $4.64 billion.

Facebook data breach has snowballed into a major controversy in India with main political parties BJP and Congress accusing each other of engaging services of Cambridge Analytica to influence elections in the country. He said the company was focused on growth and has no plans to scale back new ad-based product launches despite coming under fire from policymakers and privacy advocates.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal, which has sparked government investigations globally, was mentioned only once on an hour-long conference call between analysts and Facebook management, when one analyst asked Zuckerberg what he learned from testifying in USA congressional hearings.

"Cambridge Analytica's research showed that the personality types licensed by the Kogan data underperformed when compared to more traditional ways of grouping people by demographics", Mitchell said during a press conference on Tuesday. Zuckerberg spent two days on Capitol Hill earlier this month getting grilled by lawmakers about Facebook's responsibility.

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