Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune took an almost $15bn hit on Thursday, as the social media giant headed for the biggest one-day wipe-out in the United States stock market history, a day after executives forecast years of lower profit margins.
At least 16 brokerages cut their price targets on Facebook after Chief Financial Officer, David Wehner, startled an otherwise routine call with analysts by saying the company faced a multi-year squeeze on its business margins, Reuters reported.
That “bombshell”, as one analyst termed it, played into concerns on Wall Street that Facebook’s model could be under threat after a year that has been dominated by efforts to head off concerns over privacy and its role in global news flow.
Shares fell as much as 19.6 per cent to $174.78, a decline that if sustained would wipe about $124bn off the company’s value – or nearly four times the entire market capitalisation of Twitter Inc. Dismal revenue, which initially pulled the stock down nearly nine per cent on Wednesday, clearly was not the end for wounded investors.
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is an American technology entrepreneur and philanthropist best known for co-founding and leading Facebook as its chairman and chief executive officer.
Google to roll out free internet in 200 locations
Google Nigeria has announced plans to reach more than 10 million Nigerians with free Internet access in five cities. According to the global content provider, the Wi-Fi will be available in 200 Google stations in Lagos, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Abuja by 2019.
This was made known on Thursday at the second Google for Nigeria event in Lagos, where the company announced updates on its Go products suites such as Google Go, YouTube Go, Google Maps Go and Android Go.
Speaking at the unveiling of the Google stations, the Google Nigeria Country Director, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, said the initiative would address affordability and access to data as well as broadband penetration.
She stated that the free Wi-Fi was rolled out in partnership with an Internet Service Provider with extensive fibre network, 21st Century, adding that the company was open to partnerships with other ISPs and telcos.
Ehimuan-Chiazor said, “One of the challenges we found was access to data. Broadband penetration is low and are not reliable and there are challenges with affordability; just allow many Nigerians benefit from the digital economy. We are very excited to be able to launch in collaboration with partners.
“We are starting in Lagos with four sites, and the commitment is to expand to 200 sites across five cities in Nigeria by 2019. There are opportunities that are available once people get online and are able to consume information.”
Commenting on the initiative, the Vice-President, Products Management, Google, Anjali Joshi, said the initiative would be scaled to other countries in Africa. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, in his keynote address at the event, said the Federal Government was ready to support initiatives that were in line with the Information and Communications Technology road map of the country.
As part of the commitment of the government to supporting technology development, he stated that an innovation centre would be unveiled at the Enterprise Development Centre of the Lagos Business School next week.
He said the centre was part of the commitment of the Federal Government to create an ecosystem for technology development in the country. According to him, several innovation centres have been established across the country to support technology innovation and skills development.
“We have established innovation hubs across the nation from Ventures Hub in Abuja, to Edo State Government’s Edo Innovate project in Benin and the Humanitarian Innovation Centre in collaboration with the North-East Innovation Hub and the International Committee of Red Cross. We are committed to building an ecosystem that will drive innovation. We are investing in training 5,000 developers as part of the NPower tech programme,” Osinbajo added.