The disappointing numbers highlight the bind the company is in while it attempts to please both growth-hungry investors and a disillusioned userbase following a chain of scandals.
Facebook's founder is the media company's largest shareholder, with 12.8% of its shares outstanding.
A data-analytics dustup that dominated much of the year and lingering questions about how it handles misinformation dinged the social-networking juggernaut on Wednesday, sending its shares into a tailspin in late trading. Facebook's results prompted selling in other Nasdaq listings, including media and advertising rivals Amazon.com Inc, Netflix Inc and Alphabet Inc.
Facebook Stock Down 9% Following Q2 Revenue Miss, Slowing User Growth
Facebook's monthly active users number was still up 11% year-over-year.
"Our total revenue growth rate decelerated approximately 7 percentage points in Q2 compared to Q1", he said.
Facebook forecast similar increases for the second half of the year, also citing spending on video content and marketing. Analysts who follow Facebook were blindsided, asking frequently on a conference call with executives for more information on exactly how the company's financial future had changed so dramatically. And the chief financial officer, David Wehner, said revenue growth would substantially decline for the rest of the year, partly because Facebook planned to give people more options with their privacy settings, including letting them limit the kinds of ads they saw.
Separately Wednesday, Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch, who advised the company through a series of probes and investigations into data privacy, said he would be leaving for personal reasons.
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But the company's ad growth engine contended with disruptions in its most lucrative markets. During the quarter, the company added 22 million daily active users, lower than the 41 million it added in the same quarter a year earlier.
Facebook said it had 1.47 billion daily active users in June, compared with the 1.48 billion average of analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Revenue from emerging markets has not picked up the slack either.
Gene Munster, a venture capitalist at Loup Ventures, said in an email that Facebook is "entering a new period" where declining user growth will translate to slower revenue growth.
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"The company has a track record of resetting revenue growth and expense expectations only to turn around and exceed those expectations the following quarter", Munster wrote.
Analysts had estimated a profit of US$1.72 per share, on revenue of US$13.36 billion. "That said, Facebook still has some wood to chop ahead both on the regulatory as well as user/advertiser front which must be successfully managed going forward", the analyst added.
Facebook has grappled with months of scrutiny over Russian misuse of the platform in the 2016 US presidential campaign and the harvesting of its users' data through the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
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