Facebook’s downfall has, it seems, been greatly exaggerated — at least according to Facebook. Even with the Cambridge Analytica fallout and subsequent #DeleteFacebook campaigns, the site appears to be largely unfazed. An executive confirmed as much in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal.
A majority of users haven’t altered their settings and advertisers appear to be staying put. “We have not seen wild changes in behavior with people saying ‘I’m not going to share any data with Facebook anymore,’” Global Marketing VP Carolyn Everson told the site.
And while the company has certainly been put under a microscope by Congress and other lawmakers internationally, Everson adds that Facebook isn’t really anticipating that much will change on the legislative side of the equation, either.
The executive says the company isn’t “anticipating major changes to our overall revenue and business model” as it pertains to the potential ability for users to opt out of the targeted ad model that came under heat during this week’s hearings.
Wall Street analysts are seconding that sentiment. Like users, advertisers don’t exactly appear to be fleeing the site in droves. “It’s inexpensive for the earnings growth trajectory they have. We did a study today that showed engagement hasn’t pulled back,” analyst David Seaburg told CNBC in a recent interview. ”The engagement factor is staying still. Ad buyers are locked in. I think the earnings are going to be good. I think it’s a catalyst for the stock to go higher.”
It’s a stark contrast from the fallout for Cambridge Analytica. The firm whose data mining operations helped set this whole thing in motion has been reeling from the attention. The company has been in a constant state of damage control over social media, and the other day, it replaced a temporary CEO who had been in the role for less than a month.
Of course, Cambridge Analytica isn’t Facebook. Only Facebook is Facebook. Most of us have grown addicted for both our personal and professional needs. It’s hard to remember a time before it, and, as such, it’s difficult to imagine life without it. Besides, how long will our dwindling attention spans really remember what it was that got us all so upset in the first place?
Seaburg calls Zuckerberg “arrogant” in the aforementioned interview. Strangely, it comes off as a compliment of sorts — an indicator of a chief executive who just believes in his product. Zuckerberg might come off as arrogant, but if you were running a company that seemed poised to shrug off two days of congressional hearings, wouldn’t you be?