Facebook loses users in Europe, flat in North America

  • Facebook's North American DAUs stayed flat during the second quarter from the prior period, as the company dealt with the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica data leak.
  • Analysts were expecting the number to be little changed from the first quarter.
Mark Zuckerberg
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Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook failed to add North American daily active users and lost European daily active users in the second quarter, amid data leaks, privacy changes and fake news scandals, the company reported Wednesday.

In its second-quarter earnings report, Facebook said North American daily active users (DAUs) remained at 185 million, the same as the prior quarter. Analysts were expecting 185.4 million, according to FactSet.

European DAUs fell to 279 million in the second quarter from 282 million in the prior period — likely a result of Europe's recently enacted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a set of rules that give users more control over their online data.

Global DAUs continued to increase, rising to 1.47 billion, up from 1.45 billion. Analysts expected 1.49 billion.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed on the company's earnings call that 2.5 billion people use at least one of Facebook's apps — including Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger — every month.

Facebook's North American number has fluctuated over the last year, dipping slightly at the end of 2017 before bouncing back.

The company's latest report covers the first two weeks after the Cambridge Analytica data leaks were disclosed in March and includes the "delete Facebook" movement that followed. Zuckerberg spent two days in April testifying in front of Congress and later faced questions from European officials about how the company is dealing with a growing number of privacy and security concerns.

Facebook has said that it's committed to fighting fake news on its platform, especially ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, by reducing the amount of misinformation on its News Feed and removing posts that incite violence. The company is now at the heart of a debate surrounding free speech and its role in deciding what content stays and what goes.

Facebook posted revenue growth of 42 percent in the quarter to $13.23 billion, and earnings of $1.74 a share. The stock crashed as much as 10 percent after the announcement.

— CNBC's Sara Salinas contributed to this report.