Facebook Usage Actually Increased After Privacy Scandal: Data

Facebook usage actually increased in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal concerning data privacy, Goldman Sachs observed as part of a recent research note relying on data gathered by insights company ComScore. With the debacle first being reported in late March, Facebook has been making negative headlines throughout April, yet still managed to increase the number of its unique mobile users in the United States by seven percentage points year-on-year, with 188.6 million Americans launching its smartphone app at least once over the course of the observed period.

While many industry watchers were speculating a loss of consumer trust could heavily impact Facebook's bottom line and some activists — including the firm's former WhatsApp executive and actor Jim Carrey — even sparked an online movement calling for people to delete their Facebook profiles this spring, no recent data is indicative of such efforts having any impact on the social media giant's performance. At worst, the Cambridge Analytica episode slowed down Facebook's growth which remains steady, as suggested by the new research. Its Friday afternoon stock price of $182 is also on par with its January valuation and close to its all-time high of approximately $193 recorded in February, some seven weeks before the data privacy scandal engulfed the media, indicating the Internet juggernaut already erased the majority of the negative effects experienced due to the debacle.

Deutsche Bank claims Facebook's efforts to delete 583 million fake accounts from its platform as part of a probe into Russian meddling with the 2016 presidential election in the U.S. had a minimal impact on the audience reach of its advertisers, indicating that the majority of ads sold by the Menlo Park, California-based firm were always reaching real people. While several studies recently pointed to Americans losing trust in Facebook due to the Cambridge Analytica ordeal and other privacy incidents that followed, the new report suggests that even if those findings are accurate, a less trustworthy Facebook still isn't a network that consumers aren't willing to use. CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be appearing in front of EU legislators tomorrow to answer questions regarding the company's privacy practices.

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