Facebook shareholders sue company after stock plunge 'shocked' market

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At the stock's lowest point, more than $148 billion of the company's value - significantly more than the entire market cap of IBM ($134 billion) - had been wiped out.

United States technology companies are set for a bumpy ride on Thursday's stock market as contagion spreads through the sector after Facebook shares plunged 24% on Wednesday.

This week has seen more embarrassment with the publication of a series of ads sent out on Facebook during the UK's European Union referendum in 2016.

After all, from what little we know, the kids these days seem to be into Snapchat and Fortnite rather than posting semi-snide comments about the bridesmaid dress your friend has just got for Aunty Edwina's third marriage.

New options Facebook is offering users to opt out of certain data collection - inspired in part by a new privacy law in Europe - could lead to less advertising revenue.

Mobile advertising continued to to show gains, representing 91% of total ad sales, up from 87% in the second quarter of 2017.

The world thinks Facebook is invincible, with over 1 billion daily active users, billions of images and videos uploaded every month.it is ingrained in our very social fabric.

The revenue guidance from the company was "unprecedented", said Gene Munster, an analyst at Loup Ventures, in a note to investors.

"This is a direct result of scale as it becomes increasingly hard to grow at such high rates when a company hits this size", Windsor wrote.

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"Weaknesses in AI are forcing [Facebook] to keep hiring humans to do the jobs that the machines are incapable of", he said.

While gargantuan in sheer number, the drop in Facebook's market value doesn't spell the end for the company. But the results followed a period in which data-privacy issues came under harsh scrutiny, with Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg testifying before U.S. Congress for hours on the company's missteps.

Many are pointing the blame at founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Some analysts however said it was too soon to write off Facebook or its growth prospects, and that the company may have simply been warning of the worst-case scenario. Facebook attributed the weaker outlook to unfavorable currency conditions, investments in new products and bolstered privacy tools that may put the brakes on breakneck revenue growth.

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

Richard Greenfield of BTIG Research said he remained upbeat on Facebook despite the abrupt forecast shift.

"Facebook might have its wings clipped, but it is still a remarkable money-making machine".

"It's really becoming the crown jewel of Bezos' empire", said GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives.

Still, Zuckerberg assured investors that Facebook continues to see growth on its core platform, as well as its other properties, which include Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

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