Despite paying a record $5 billion fine to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over privacy violations, Facebook posted strong results for the second quarter (Q2), earning $16.9 billion in revenue — up 28 per cent from a year ago.
The social networking platform reported $2.6 billion in profit, reflecting a one-time $2 billion legal expense related to the FTC settlement.
“We had a strong quarter and our business and community continue to grow,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO.
“We are investing in building stronger privacy protections for everyone and on delivering new experiences for the people who use our services,” he added after the company reached the $5 billion settlement with the US FTC.
Facebook now has 2.41 billion monthly active users (MAUs), an increase of 8 per cent year-over-year.
Daily active users (DAUs) were 1.59 billion on average for June 2019 – also an increase of 8 per cent year-over-year.
“Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 94 per cent of advertising revenue for the second quarter of 2019 — up from approximately 91 per cent of advertising revenue in the second quarter of 2018,” said Facebook.
Capital expenditures, including principal payments on finance leases, were $3.78 billion for the second quarter.
“We estimate that more than 2.1 billion people now use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger (our aFamily of services) every day on average, and more than 2.7 billion people use at least one of our Family of services each month,” said the social networking platform.
Earlier, in a historic judgment, the US FTC on Wednesday slapped a massive $5 billion fine on Facebook over users’ privacy violations in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, along with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) directing the social networking platform to pay $100 million penalty for making misleading disclosures regarding the risk of misuse of user data.
Apart from the record-breaking settlement, Facebook will also submit to new sweeping restrictions and a modified corporate structure that will hold the company accountable for the decisions it makes about its users’ privacy, the FTC said in a statement.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he will make some major structural changes to how he builds products and run the company.
“Just as we have an audit committee of our board to oversee our financial controls, we’ll set up a new privacy committee of our board that will oversee our privacy programme. We’ve also asked one of our most experienced product leaders to take on the role of Chief Privacy Officer for Products,” Zuckerberg said immediately after the settlement was made official.
In a separate order, the US SEC announced charges against Facebook for making misleading disclosures regarding the risk of misuse of user data.