Facebook shares surge as sales profit beat Wall Street estimates

Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff attorney Nate Cardozo speaks onstage during Tech Crunch Disrupt NY 2016 at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal

The company ended 2018 with 1.52 billion average daily users, up 9 percent from a year earlier and 28 million more than in Q3. This came up to a 9 percent increase in the number of users per year. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Facebook, Inc. will post 7.33 earnings per share for the current year.

This was a much-needed boost for Facebook's stock which fell by 34 percent since the company's earnings call in July in which it predicted slow revenue growth and an increase in expenses due to its investment in security measures following multiple user data breaches.

US social media giant Facebook Wednesday reported strong growth in revenue, earning 16.91 billion USA dollars in the fourth quarter ending on December 31, 2018. The social networking company reported $2.38 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters' consensus estimate of $2.18 by $0.20.

Zuckerberg said that a key focus for Facebook Watch is to create content that encourages two-way interactions between viewers and content creators. Although the company offers no country-by-country breakdown of its users, 947 million were in the Asia-Pacific region, 381 million in Europe and 242 million in North America.

Zuckerberg has consistently defended the social network's business of keeping the service free by targeting ads based on interests, adamant the social network does not sell people's data.

Investors were liking the latest earnings from Facebook. Shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc rose 1.4 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. During the fourth quarter, the public learned more about how it let Russian Federation manipulate users in campaigns that continued through the 2018 USA midterm elections.




"Between the intellectual tech press and the Washington elite, there's a huge disconnect between the news and what the rest of the world is doing", said Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG LLC in NY. Sanders Capital LLC now owns 3,564,800 shares of the social networking company's stock valued at $522,620,000 after acquiring an additional 2,031,500 shares in the last quarter.

Zuckerberg also confirmed plans to integrate all the company's messaging services-Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger-so they can chat with each other.

Stories are growing amongst advertisers as well, with 2 million now buying Stories ads across Instagram and Facebook.

While Facebook is still the most popular social media channel in Singapore, it seems to be following the global trend of losing its younger users. The company announced that each month, a new high of 2.7 billion people used Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger.

In an attempt to redeem the market reputation of its platform amidst several controversies, Facebook has roped Nate Cardozo - a long-time Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) counsel - as the Privacy Policy Manager for WhatsApp.

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