Facebook just had the worst day in stock market history

Facebook had the biggest stock-market wipeout in US history on Thursday with shares tumbling 19 per cent and founder Mark Zuckerberg losing $15.9bn in a single day according to Bloomberg. Dado Ruvic  Reuters

He lost $16.8 billion in extended trading. His fortune tumbled in late trading Wednesday, as shares of the social media giant slid 20% in post-market trading in NY on disappointing results. He was listed Thursday as $81.9 billion poorer than Jeff Bezos, who still hold the top spot on that list.

Now new European data rules could make life tougher for Facebook. Those problems hadn't mattered to the success of the business - until now. Shares were down as much as 20 percent. We're starting to see that this quarter.

The financial blow is a shock, but it may not be the most concerning part for Facebook in the long run.

The sudden drop in Facebook stock was a result of the announcement of second-quarter earnings which did not meet the companies predicted numbers.

The collapse is a direct result of the news that Facebook lost three million users in Europe alone thanks to the revelation around Cambridge Analytica's far-reaching gaze over user profiles. "Facebook has also been sucked into the probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election".

The fleeing of one million users is but a drop in the ocean to Facebook, which now has over 2.2 billion active monthly over-sharers on its website.

Brian Wieser at Pivotal Research Group said the company appears to have hit a "wall" on growth in advertising. Combine this pessimistic outlook with 1.54% user growth and 1.44% daily active users which are half of last quarter's growth percentage and we're looking at a company that is getting squeezed at both ends. At that point, the stock was still recovering from an earlier battering over its big privacy scandal, in which a political consulting firm with ties to President Donald Trump improperly accessed the data of tens millions of Facebook users. Q2 revenue rose a whopping 42%, to $13.0 billion, and net income was up 31%, to $5.1 billion. Analysts projected $13.3 billion.

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.

Windsor added that Facebook is forced to hire more people to handle tasks such as filtering inappropriate content after discovering the limits of artificial intelligence. Analysts who follow Facebook were blindsided, asking frequently on a conference call with executives for more information on exactly how the company's financial future had changed so dramatically.

Some shareholders are saying Zuckerberg has gripped too much power at the company.

Other prominent social media slid Thursday afternoon.

Still, Zuckerberg assured investors that Facebook continues to see growth on its core platform, as well as its other properties, which include Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

"Unlike Netflix, whose quarterly shortfall we saw as temporary, here we see an evolution of the story, albeit a portion of which we expected", said Daniel Salmon, analyst at BMO Capital Markets.

Zuckerberg's critics believe appointing an independent chairman would lead to better management, while Facebook argues this would create "uncertainty, confusion, and inefficiency". The company said headcount was 30,275 as of June 30 - an increase of 47 percent year over year. Ciaccia noted. "Facebook's market cap has fallen roughly $120 billion - or the amount General Motors, Ford and Target are worth ... combined".

The revenue guidance from the company was "unprecedented", said Gene Munster, an analyst at Loup Ventures, in a note to investors.

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