Facebook reports revenue growth but prepares for regulator fine

Facebook reported revenue growth of more than three billion dollars on this time last year as the company released its latest financial results.

The social networking giant said its revenue for the first three months of the year was 15 billion dollars, up from 11.9 billion in the same period last year.

However, in a sign of the growing scrutiny on the platform from governments to change its business practices in the wake of a series of data privacy scandals, Facebook said it had put aside three billion dollars to cover potential fines issued by the US Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) ongoing inquiry into the firm.

That investigation is related to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, but no findings have yet been published.

Despite these concerns, Facebook also reported a daily active user increase of 8% on this time last year, with 1.56 billion people logging onto Facebook every day.

Monthly active users were also up – reaching 2.38 billion – also up 8% on last year.

“We had a good quarter and our business and community continued to grow,” founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said.

“We are focused on building out our privacy-focused vision for the future of social networking, and working collaboratively to address important issues around the internet.”

Last month, Mr Zuckerberg said the company – which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp – was planning to increase the amount of encryption it offered to allow users to privately communicate more easily.

He has also admitted that more regulation was needed on big tech companies.

Earlier on Wednesday, one MP labelled Facebook and other social media sites “a cesspit” during a hearing of the Home Affairs Select Committee on hate crime.

Stephen Doughty told representatives of Twitter and YouTube as well as Facebook: “Your systems are simply not working and, quite frankly, it’s a cesspit. It feels like your companies really don’t give a damn.”

- Press Association

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