File Image: IOL

INTERNATIONAL - Facebook reported strong first-quarter earnings, marking a bit of good news for a company that’s been challenged with its largest crisis to date.

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook started the earnings announcement by discussing the problems the platform had faced such as  fake news and “app developers and data privacy.”

He said his team will be working on better policies and ways to prevent foreign interference in elections, mentioning upcoming elections this year in Mexico and Brazil. 

He said Facebook would do more to “make sure those tools are used for good.” 

Additionally, Zuckerberg commented on his testimony in front of Congress, calling it an “important moment” to “answer all the questions about Cambridge Analytica and make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

 Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg was also in attendance and said that they have always built privacy into their ads and that with the new European data privacy rules set to take effect on May 25th, as well as the new policies that Facebook has launched, users would be better protected against privacy violations.

Here are five important things you should know about the Q1 results: 

1. The company's US and Canada DAU number shrank to 184 million and marked the first time Facebook usage has ever decreased in the company’s primary market. 

2.  Facebook added 49 million new daily active users for a total of 1.45 billion daily users, or a 3.5% increase compared to the previous quarter. 

3. The number of daily active users in the US and Canada also jumped back up to 185 million, following that historic downturn last quarter.

4. The company posted revenue of $11.97 billion ( R148 billion), which is a 50% jump year over year compared to last year’s $8 billion ( R991 billion)  and Facebook’s stock is up nearly 7% in after-hours trading.

5. Facebook’s number of daily users rose to 1.45 billion, up 13% year over year, and its monthly users are now 2.2 billion, also up 13% year over year. 

Compared to previous Facebook’s first-quarter results from last year, or to 2016 or 2015, these growth rates are low. 

 In the first quarter of 2017, Facebook grew its daily active users by 18%, and in the first quarter of 2016, it grew that metric by 16%.

The Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal came to light late in the first quarter, and we will only see the impact it had on Facebook’s business until next quarter. 

READ ALSO: Financial expert taking Facebook to UK court over fake ads

READ ALSO: Got to be 16 years or older to use WhatsApp

TOP STORY: Public service shutdown looms