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Inside Facebook (Jul 18th, 2017)

$FB (3 p.m. EST): $163.03 (↑ 2.07%) // 90-day high: $163.06 // 90-day low: $139.39 // More info

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China has blocked all non-text messages such as photos and videos on WhatsApp. The move comes as the country's 19th Party Congress approaches and as censors try to scrub all references to Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and dissident who died Thursday in government custody. WeChat, which is owned by Tencent and is the most ubiquitous messaging app in China, is already closely monitored and filtered by the Chinese government. WhatsApp's parent company Facebook, as well as Instagram, Twitter, Google, and Gmail, are already blocked in the country. — NEW YORK TIMES

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Facebook is selling ads on platforms other than its News Feed, which the company says has reached its maximum ad load. Facebook says its revenue growth will slow down and is seeking other places to put ads, including Instagram Stories, Marketplace, and "mid-roll ads" that appear during the site's new original video content rather than at the start of the video. Earlier this month Facebook announced it would be selling advertising globally in its Messenger app after successful tests in Australia and Thailand. — INVESTOPEDIA

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Facebook denied the Pakistani government's request to link users' accounts to a mobile phone number, rather than to an email address. Officials said the information would help them track fake accounts which have been used to spread hate speech. The request came about a month after a Pakistani man was sentenced to death for posting "blasphemous" content on Facebook. Facebook's WhatsApp messaging platform already links accounts to a mobile phone, but Facebook refused to comply, citing the recent court cases and its legal process for providing data. — BBC

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Facebook plans to double the size of its data center in Los Lunas, New Mexico. Construction of the first 510,000-square-foot building began in October; it will be ready for use in late 2018. Facebook announced it will build a second building, adding another 460,000 square feet and bringing the project's cost close to half a billion dollars. The state has experienced a downturn in oil and gas revenue and was able to attract Facebook's project and the economic boost it will provide by offering up to $30 billion in industrial revenue bonds, $10 million in Local Economic Development Act funding, and tax reimbursements of up to $1.6 million. —U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT

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Instagram is offering advertisers credits and discounts on its site. Analysts believe that this will draw more advertising away from rival Snap, because Instagram offers better metrics so advertisers can analyze a campaign's organic reach. Instagram's Stories, which is similar to Snapchat's, now have "swipe up" URL links in the middle of content that have conversion rates as high as 15 to 25 percent. — BUSINESS INSIDER

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