Facebook just lost more than $100 billion off its value

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Growth in the number of users who logged in each day fell short, too, up 11 percent year-over-year at 1.47 billion but still less than the 1.49 billion anticipated.

Wall Street didn't take too kindly to that: Facebook's stock price dropped almost 20 percent in after-hours trading.

"Our community and business continue to grow quickly". The ad sales portion of revenue hit $13 billion in the second quarter, good for a gain of 42 percent from the year prior.

The world's biggest social media company reported earnings of $1.74 per share, beating estimates by 2 cents.

The after-hours trading was on lower-than-expected revenue numbers from its second-quarter earnings report. While revenue fell short of Wall Street estimates, it did so by only about 1 percent; profits, meanwhile exceeded forecasts.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2018, Facebook CFO Dave Wehner warned that revenue growth for the third- and fourth-quarters would decelerate in the high-single digits because of factors that include more data privacy options and the promotion of newer initiatives like Stories and Watch that could impact revenues growth.

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"It wouldn't be surprising if a couple million very irritated Brits left Facebook", says Brian Wieser, analyst with Pivotal Research.

According to the research firm, Facebook-owned Instagram is making up for some of the slowdown in growth at the social network and will generate US$8.06 billion in worldwide ad revenue this year.

In late May, the General Data Protection Regulation came into effect in Europe, restricting the way advertising companies collect data from individuals. The period was also marked by Europe's implementation of strict new data laws, which Facebook said led to fewer daily visitors in that region. The company may have halted more ad purchases than expected as it applied a broad definition of what's considered "political". Instagram now has more than 1 billion users, and analysts expect it to be a model for how Facebook molds its other big app purchase, WhatsApp, into a lucrative business. More than 2.5 billion people used at least one of its apps - Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, or WhatsApp - during the month of June.

"There is never a "right time" for a transition like this, but the team and the company boast incredible talent and will navigate this well", Stretch said on his Facebook page.

Facebook has said it will increase spending to make investments in video content, and on new bets like artificial intelligence and virtual reality. In the final minutes of trading on Wednesday, shares hit $217.50, an increase of 32 percent in the last 12 months. He said the challenges included regaining public trust as well as increasing the number of people joining Facebook and the time they spent on the platform. But Facebook, which reported sales growth averaging 50 percent the past 10 quarters, may just be lowering the bar so it can win back confidence in future quarters.

Gene Munster, a venture capitalist at Loup Ventures, said in an email that Facebook is "entering a new period" where declining user growth will translate to slower revenue growth.