Facebook shares slump as user growth slows

Facebook missed its revenue forecast for the second quarter

Facebook missed its revenue forecast for the second quarterEPA

But shares slumped 7 percent in after-hours exchanges after hitting record levels in official trading, with the quarterly report largely weaker than had been expected.

A data privacy scandal involving the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica and misinformation on WhatsApp contributing to mob killings in India have added to the pressure on Facebook to re-evaluate how its services maintain security and decorum.

Nearly all of Facebook's revenue - $13 billion of the total $13.2 billion - came from online advertising, a sector dominated by the California social network along with Silicon Valley rival Google.

The company's growth numbers also slowed down notably: Daily active users only increased 11% year-over-year, to the tune of 1.47 billion on average during the month of June.

In February, the research firm eMarketer estimated that the number of Facebook users under the age of 25 would fall by about 2 million this year. Facebook said mobile made up 91 percent of ad revenue in the recent period, compared with about 87 percent a year earlier.

Mr Ives said the popularity of Instagram should help Facebook blunt any fallout from challenges at its namesake network.

Throughout the earnings call, efforts were made to highlight the fact that the company's future growth would not come from the core Facebook platform but from its other properties, including its messaging apps and Instagram.

"We did see a decline in monthly actives in Europe, down by about 1 million people as a result", Zuckerberg said on conference call.

The same quarter saw the company suspend hundreds of apps as part of an investigation prompted by the Cambridge Analytica scandal and Zuckerberg's appearances before Congress and European parliament.

But the market wasn't just reacting to Facebook generating less revenue than expected.

"Over the next several years, we would anticipate that our operating margins will trend towards the mid-30s on a percentage basis", Wehner said, adding that margins would be down for more than two years.

The threat of additional regulatory setbacks remains a concern, according to analysts.

Cowen & Co analysts found 37 per cent of ad buyers they surveyed increased spending on Instagram in the first half of this year. Zuckerberg in January said he was going to adjust the news feed to make sure people spend more time on Facebook with meaningful content from their friends and family members - a move the company has said would decrease user engagement with the site.

Almost all social media services have received greater scrutiny since US intelligence agencies in January 2017 revealed that organizations tied to the Russian government had seeded content on the platform to shake up the 2016 USA presidential election.

Liverpool set to sell Divock Origi to Valencia
Could Imran Khan's vote in Pakistan election be cancelled?