How anxious should Facebook be after its market collapse?

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Its stock was trading at $176.26 late Thursday, down from $217.50 a share before the report was released.

Shares in Alphabet (:GOOGL.O) closed up 0.7 percent, while those in Apple Inc (:AAPL.O) fell 0.3 percent and Netflix Inc (:NFLX.O) closed barely higher.

"Our community and business continue to grow quickly".

For numerous world's richest people, losing $16.8 billion in a day would be a wipeout.

Shareholders often sue companies in the United States after unexpected stock price declines, especially if the loss of wealth is large.

Mark Zuckerberg did his best in the earnings call to try to spin this decline as something positive for investors-as if making less money was an active choice the company was pursuing to benefit consumers, rather than a side-effect of everything it's being forced to do in the face of growing public concerns.

The second quarter of 2018 was the first full accounting period following the exposure of the Cambridge Analytica scandal in March.

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Facebook has opened in U.S. markets at a loss of 18.4 per cent, wiping roughly $123bn (£93.8bn) off its market valuation.

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.

Despite the record stock price tumble, the tech giant still made $13.2 billion (€11.3 billion) in the second quarter of 2018, a year-on-year rise of over 40 percent.

The Trillium Assets proposal charged that the lack of an independent board chair and oversight contributed to Facebook "missing, or mishandling, a number of severe controversies", including the social media site being used for the Russian meddling in USA elections, the sharing personal data of 87 million users with Cambridge Analytica, proliferation of fake news and others, the Business Insider said. Facebook saw a decline in Europe to 279 million daily users. The company's quarterly revenue fell slightly short of meeting the expectations of Wall Street analysts. "They've invested significant dollars in building out the infrastructure, sales force and AWS partner ecosystem worldwide that I think now is starting to pay just massive dividends". Controversies came and went, but nothing stuck.

Facebook's financial reports following the Cambridge Analytica scandal was always going to be an eye-opening experience but, after their announcement on Wednesday, Facebook's global market value took an almighty plummet.

In an understandable development at the announcement, Facebook's stock has taken a tremendous nosedive, down almost 20% at peak.

Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser, who has a sell rating on the stock, says there are limits to growth in digital advertising, even for Facebook.