Photo: Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Facebook's stock price was free-falling (down 23% at one point) in after-hours trading on Wednesday, as the company warned investors on its earnings call that changes to its platform will continue to depress its revenue growth rate for the rest of the year.

Why it matters: Facebook's business appeared invincible for the past two years despite a string of controversies. That tide may now be turning.

"We expect our revenue growth rates to decline by high single digit percentages from prior quarters sequentially in both Q3 and Q4"
— Facebook CFO David Wehner

Facebook says several factors in particular will lead to deceleration of revenue growth, including currency headwinds, shifts to private messaging and sharing content on "Stories," and giving users more privacy options.

  • "We’re investing so much in security that it’ll begin to affect our profitability,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a call with analysts.
  • Facebook said that since its implementation of GDPR-compliant features, it's lost one million users in Europe, though it declined to share further expectations for the region.

New metric: For the first time, Facebook revealed that it now has 2.5 billion individual people using at least one of its apps every month. The company said this figure is a better representation of its user base than simple monthly average users, as it doesn't count multiple accounts that are owned by the same person (many use several of Facebook's apps).

Instagram v. Facebook: "Instagram is growing more quickly and making an increasing contribution to growth,” Facebook CFO David Wehner said.

  • Though both services have similar ad load in their feeds, Instagram has more Stories usage than Facebook.
  • The company views its video efforts on Instagram with IGTV as aimed to help content creators connect with their followers, while its Watch effort on Facebook is geared at helping users watch longer-form video with friends and connect with other community members, Zuckerberg said.

Messaging, rising: The company also conceded that more users globally are moving from social networking and into messaging. "Another major trend we're seeing is a shift towards private messaging. There's a lot to build here," said Zuckerberg.

  • Facebook, which operates both WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, is currently the biggest messaging provider in the world.
  • But those apps are not yet that lucrative and have lately been causing the tech giant headaches over the sharing of misinformation and fake news.

Go deeper

Louisville officer: "Breonna Taylor would be alive" if we had served no-knock warrant

Breonna Taylor memorial in Louisville. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, the Louisville officer who led the botched police raid that caused the death of Breonna Taylor, said the No. 1 thing he wishes he had done differently is either served a "no-knock" warrant or given five to 10 seconds before entering the apartment: "Breonna Taylor would be alive, 100 percent."

Driving the news: Mattingly, who spoke to ABC News and Louisville's Courier Journal for his public interview, was shot in the leg in the initial moments of the March 13 raid. Mattingly did not face any charges after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he and another officer were "justified" in returning fire to protect themselves against Taylor's boyfriend.

U.S. vs. Google — the siege begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Justice Department fired the starter pistol on what's likely to be a years-long legal siege of Big Tech by the U.S. government when it filed a major antitrust suit Tuesday against Google.

The big picture: Once a generation, it seems, federal regulators decide to take on a dominant tech company. Two decades ago, Microsoft was the target; two decades before that, IBM.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If the impasse between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House on a new stimulus deal is supposed to be a crisis, you wouldn't know it from the stock market, where prices continue to rise.

  • That's been in no small part because U.S. economic data has held up remarkably well in recent months thanks to the $2 trillion CARES Act and Americans' unusual ability to save during the crisis.

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