Number of active Facebook users increased despite scandals

Company sees number of monthly active users reach 2.2 billion while facing scrutiny over data breach and harvesting.

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Number of daily and monthly users grew 13 percent compared with 2017 [Thomas White/Reuters]

Facebook says its user base and revenue increased significantly in the first three months of 2018, despite the setback caused by the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal.

The California-based social-media company released its quarterly results on Wednesday evening.

Facebook saw the number of monthly active users increase to 2.2 billion, 13 percent higher than in the first three months of 2017.

On a daily basis, about 1.45 billion people use the social network, an increase of 13 percent compared with 2017’s first quarter.

Facebook also increased its revenue on a year-by-year basis, from $8.03bn in the first quarter of 2017 to $11.96bn in the first quarter of 2018, a rise of 49 percent.

The numbers come on the back of two months during which Facebook has been involved in a data-breach scandal, in which data of 87 million Facebook users was gathered and used in political campaigns.

Data-breach scandal

As a result, investigations were launched in several countries affected, including the United States, the UK and India.

Facebook rejected the claim that a data breach had happened, saying users knowingly provided their information.


When the data harvesting was taking place, Facebook’s policy allowed for the collection of friends’ data by app creators and academics, though selling this data to third parties or using it for advertising was not prohibited.

Facebook has also been involved in a different scandal relating to the alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 US elections.

According to investigations by Robert Mueller, the US special counsel, a company called the Internet Research Agency bought ads and and started pages on the social network to influence the presidential elections in the US.

As a result of both scandals, Mark ZuckerbergFacebook’s CEO, was asked to give evidence in front of two US Congress committees, where he was questioned for two days.

During those hearings, Zuckerberg said the company has been trying to do more to prevent data breaches like the Cambridge Analytica one and reduce the alleged influence of Russian government.

Source: Al Jazeera