What just happened? Facebook’s seemingly never-ending privacy and data scandals have finally hit it in the wallet, but it’s not through users leaving. During its Q1 2019 earnings report, the social network said it estimates spending between $3 billion to $5 billion on a fine from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its user data practices.
Facebook has set aside $3 billion in anticipation of the FTC fine, meaning its net profit was 85 cents per share. Without the legal expense, profit would have been $5.43 billion, or $1.89 a share. Revenue was at $15.08 billion, while average revenue per user hit $6.42, up 16 percent compared to last year, beating analysts’ expectations.
Speaking about the fine, which is mostly related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook said: "The matter remains unresolved and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome."
Despite the numerous cases of exposed data and privacy issues, Facebook continues to experience user growth. The site had 2.38 billion monthly active users in Q1 2019, a jump of 8 percent year-over-year. Daily active users were also up 8 percent YoY, reaching 1.56 billion.
Mobile continues to bring in the money for Facebook, with 93 percent of all advertising revenue ($13.9 billion) coming from its mobile apps. Total Q1 ad revenue was $14.9 billion, up 26 percent YoY.
On the earnings report conference call, Mark Zuckerberg once again talked about Facebook’s supposed privacy-focused future, along with plans to integrate the messaging services of Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and the main app, allowing users to communicate with each other across these services easily.