Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Stands Against Washington Spying, Sees Stocks Rally
Facebook has been very successful since launching its IPO at $16 billion in May 2012. With everything from the ability to connect with loved ones, play games, and check out aggregated content from all around the web, it’s no wonder that the house that Zuckerberg built is now home to more than 1.3 billion users.
Taking notice of Facebook’s success are, of course, marketers. As of Q3 2013, the social media giant pulls in a whopping $2 billion per quarter in revenues from its ever evolving marketing offerings. With a newsfeed redesign and the buzz surrounding a new mobile marketing app, the Silicon Valley golden-boy might be poised to increase that revenue many times over.
Facebook Stocks Take Wall Street by Storm
Nowhere is this more evident than in the company’s recent — not to mention completely unexpected — surge on Wall Street. Since the beginning of the year, the social media firm’s stocks have jumped an astounding 28%. Now that many new features are coming down the pipeline, the big blue giant’s financial situation is only set to improve.
As aforementioned, the company is set to release a new mobile ad targeting application — a lot of buzz has been leaking out ahead of the company’s F8 conference in April. Zuck and the gang aren’t resting on their laurels until then. They recently updated Facebook’s user-interface, making it easier for their billion-plus users to get news from their favorite sources, whether that’s friends and family or different businesses they’re following. The move, undoubtedly engineered to take a bite out of Twitter’s user-base, is proving effective, and it will no doubt help drive Facebook stocks higher.
Zuckerberg Leads the Charge Against Continued NSA Abuses
Despite its continued push to innovate, Facebook’s string of successes is surprising to some, especially following news that the NSA has been using Facebook to track its “targets.” Glenn Greenwald’s the Intercept broke news last week that the NSA had been using the internet to install malware on web users’ systems, regardless of whether they were targeted individuals or not. One of the main methods the clandestine agency used was a server mimicking method that allowed them to impersonate Facebook. The NSA, of course, denies the claims are accurate.
Mark Zuckerberg went on the offensive on Thursday, calling President Obama to express his outrage over the billion-plus Facebook users across the world being spied on without even a hint of probable cause. After speaking to the POTUS, Zuckerberg had this to say to Facebook’s users via a public post: “When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we’re protecting you against criminals, not our own government.”
“Look at the history of security issues and privacy policies that Facebook has gone through over the years,” says Andreas Huttenrauch, Chief Digital Strategist at Globi Web Solutions. “At one point, Facebook wanted to reserve rights to all photos that were uploaded, so Zuckerberg seems to be whistling two tunes. It’s okay for Facebook to infringe on our rights, but not the government.”
“The problem is, the internet is public,” continues Huttenrauch. “The consumer needs to be educated enough to know that anything you put out there is going to be publicly available.”
The truth is that the latest NSA blunder could have been extremely damaging to Facebook’s dominance of the social media sphere. However, if Zuckerberg and his team have proven anything, it’s their resilience. With a leader who’s willing to stand up to the most powerful man in the Western World and a service that doesn’t seem to know the meaning of “slow down,” it’ll be no surprise when the social media behemoth continues climbing higher in the markets.