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SOCIAL MEDIA | Facebook reports increase in users following data-breach scandal

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — Facebook Wednesday reported earnings of about 4.99 billion U.S. dollars during the first quarter in 2018, indicating it has suffered little adverse impact from a data privacy fallout over the past few months.

In its financial report released on Wednesday, the world’s largest social media company boasts 1.45 billion daily users and 2.2 billion monthly members, both an increase of 13 percent year-over-year.

The growth was a sharp contrast to an early hashtag movement of #DeleteFacebook on Twitter sparked by a public outcry over Facebook’s scandal involving British consulting company, Cambridge Analytica, which was accused of abusing the private data of about 87 million Facebook users for activities related to the U.S. general elections in 2016.

Facebook’s daily active users in the United States and Canada reached 185 million during the latest quarter ending on March 31, bouncing back from a one million-user drop in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“Despite facing important challenges, our community and business are off to a strong start in 2018,” Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call on Wednesday afternoon.

“Over the next three years we are going to keep building Facebook to not only be a service that people love to use, but also one that is good for people and good for society,” he said.

Facebook’s Q1 net income was 49 percent higher than in the same period last year, and its mobile advertising generated 91 percent of Facebook’s total revenue, up from 85 percent last year.

The Silicon Valley-based U.S. giant also increased its workforce by 48 percent to 27,742 compared with a year earlier.

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