It was likely that GDPR would have consequences on all companies whose business affects Europeans, but Facebook appears to be in a bit of a free fall after applying GDPR guidelines to its entire network.
After losing one million monthly active users in Europe post GDPR, confirmed by the second quarter earnings report, the company experienced a 19 percent drop in shares. One million might not be much for a company that counts 376 million users in Europe and 2.2 billion globally, but it only shows that certain users are more concerned about data privacy than others.
“Starting this week, we’re asking everyone on Facebook to review important information about privacy and how to control their experience,” wrote Facebook’s Chief Privacy Office, Erin Egan, in May.
“People have told us they want clearer explanations of what information we collect and how we use it. […] we’re now showing people an alert as they visit News Feed so they can review details about advertising, face recognition, and information they’ve chosen to share in their profile.”
Recent scandals related to fake news and data leaks may have also contributed to the company’s decline in number of active users in Europe, which until recently was viewed as the network’s second stable market.
“GDPR has not had a revenue impact, but we also recognize it wasn’t fully rolled out this quarter,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer.
“It was very encouraging for us to see that the vast majority of people affirmed that they want us to use information, including from the websites they visit, to make their ads more relevant. But, as we look further out, we recognize that there’s still risk, and we’re going to watch closely.”