Facebook's value falls $148 billion after Q2 earnings call

A man uses a smartphone in front of an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a bank in Hong Kong Friday

The platform has been accused of helping violence spread in Myanmar, India and Sri Lanka.

"I'm Jewish, and there's a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened", Zuckerberg explained, according to Fox News.

The company's second-quarter revenue - $13.23 billion - missed expectations by about $70 million.

The proof was in Facebook's stock, which during the call was down as much 24% from its price at the close of regular trading. Shares were trading at $175.75, down about 19 per cent, nearing midday.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's fortune took a more than Sh1.5 trillion ($15 billion) hit on Thursday, as the social media company suffered the biggest one-day wipeout in us stock market history a day after executives forecast years of lower profit margins.

Facebook has been an omnipresent part of American news for what seems like all of 2018, and rarely with a positive connotation.

The plunge came after Facebook executives said the company expected a significant slowdown in its revenue growth in the years ahead.

In fact, the call with Zuckerberg and his colleagues only made things worse for Facebook's share price. "In the US and Canada, Facebook's daily active users remained flat sequentially at 185 million, while the number actually fell in Europe, falling to 279 million, down from 282 million", writes Fox News. A Facebook spokesman declined to comment.

A woman walks past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a bank in Hong Kong Friday
A woman walks past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a bank in Hong Kong Friday

Yet the company said it expects an operating profit between $1.4 billion and $2.4 billion, up from $347 million a year earlier. On a conference call with analysts, Zuckerberg chalked the decline up to the implementation of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.

The company also said revenue growth from emerging markets and the company's Instagram app, which has been less affected by privacy concerns, would not be enough to fix the damage.

"GDPR was an important moment for our industry", Zuckerberg said Wednesday, acknowledging the decline.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook has invested heavily in "safety, security and privacy" after being rocked by concerns of manipulation of the platform to spread misinformation, warning of an "impact" on profitability.

While privacy was an issue in Europe, politics played a role in North America, which is the company's most lucrative advertising market.

When people sign up with Facebook, they usually make a huge amount of data available to the group. The company is also rapidly expanding its real estate around the world to accommodate a hiring spree, which includes thousands of new workers to help combat foreign election manipulation on the site.

Facebook also said it expects slower user growth, partly due to the effect of the data privacy scandals.

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