Zuckerberg says Facebook is sticking by ads model


Facebook’s leaders told investors Wednesday that they’re sticking by their advertising-based business model despite scrutiny of the company’s practices and a new European law that will give users more control over their data.

“We think that ads is a great business model that’s aligned with our vision,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during an earnings call when asked if the company was looking for different revenue streams.

Facebook posted a strong first quarter on Wednesday, reporting a 50 percent boost in advertising revenue over the previous year. It also raked in $5 billion in profits, a 63 percent surge from the first quarter of 2017.

The strong numbers came during a quarter in which it was revealed that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained data from 87 million users, prompting Congress to drag Zuckerberg before two separate committees. The Federal Trade Commission has also announced an investigation into Facebook’s handling of the incident.


Critics say Facebook did not wield proper oversight of third parties’ handling of user data.

Zuckerberg on Wednesday again promised that he’s “taking a broader view of our responsibility.”

But he and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said they were sticking by their ad-based business model despite the scrutiny. The company gets about 98 percent of its revenue from advertising and the executives argued that it allows them to offer a free service to connect users.

“We’ve certainly thought about lots of other forms of monetization, including subscriptions, and we’ll always continue to consider everything,” Sandberg said. “Ads for us is a very natural fit for our business and we have a lot of runway ahead of us.”

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