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Facebook Profits Soar As It Brushes off Cambridge Analytica Scandal
 
26/4/2018  
 
Facebook has reported a 63 percent increase in quarterly profits, with the under pressure social network providing no evidence that the Cambridge Analytica row has halted it's breakneck growth. Mark Zuckerberg's social network revealed that revenues in the first quarter of 2018 had risen to $12 billion (£8.6 billion), a 49 percent increase on the same period a year earlier. The number of people using Facebook each month has now hit 2.2 billion, surpassing analysts expectations and suggesting the #deletefacebook campaign that followed the company's privacy debacle was a mere drop in the ocean. Profits reached $5 billion, up from $3.1 billion a year ago. The social media giant has been battling one of the biggest crises in its 14 year history after it emerged last month that millions of users had had their data compromised and obtained by Cambridge Analytica before 2015. 87 million users private details such as likes, religious beliefs and relationship statuses are believed to have been collected. In response Facebook has promised tighter controls and a thorough audit of the website, but shares have still fallen almost 15 percent since the scandal first emerged as it has faced growing calls for regulation and resentment from parts of its user base. The results for the three months to the end of March cover only the first two weeks of the controversy, so may not show it's full consequences, but were greeted with an immediate rise in shares in after hours trading. Recently, Facebook has promised to increase spending on securing users data and stopped using information obtained from data brokers to target adverts, a move that analysts expect will cost it billions. "Despite facing important challenges, our community and business are off to a strong start in 2018", Mr. Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, said. "We are taking a broader view of our responsibility and investing to make sure our services are used for good".

By James Titcomb (The Telegraph)
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