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Inside Facebook (Jul 28th, 2017)

$FB (2:30 p.m. EST): $172.53 (↑ 1.23%) // 90-day high: $172.81 // 90-day low: $144.85 // More info

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Facebook exceeded $500 billion in market value on Thursday. The milestone came after the company reported its Q2 earnings, which were higher than anticipated, with revenue of $9.32 billion. Facebook's revenue growth has slowed since it reached maximum ad loads on News Feed, and the company is now using its Instagram and Messenger platforms to carry advertising.  — CNN

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WhatsApp now has one billion users daily. In February of 2016, the messaging app reported that it had reached one billion active users a month, and this June its parent company Facebook reached two billion monthly active users. WhatsApp is more popular abroad than it is in the United States, and the eight-year-old app supports 60 languages. WhatsApp users send and share 55 billion messages, 4.5 billion photos, and a billion photos every day. — ZDNET

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White House adviser Steve Bannon reportedly wants to regulate Facebook and Google like public utilities. Bannon says that the companies have become so essential to internet users that they should be managed like other monopolies, sources told The Intercept. The debate over internet regulation has been renewed as the Federal Communications Commission is moving to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules. — THE INTERCEPT

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Facebook stock shares hit an all-time high on Thursday. The stock has a 44 percent gain this year, and analysts are raising their price targets to $200 or more per share. Facebook released its Q2 earnings this week, and after the numbers were initially reported incorrectly by Bloomberg, the stock had a "flash-crash" late Wednesday. The news outlet issued a correction and the stock values quickly rebounded. Analysts say that the stock is reacting favorably to the company's surging ad price growth. — CNBC

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Oculus released its first VR feature film, produced by Funny or Die and Felix & Paul Studios. The film is a comedy set in the 80s where the viewer is a Japanese toy robot called Miyubi, which is also the film's name. The toy's creator is played by Jeff Goldblum. Oculus shut down its in-house studio in May and put $50 million of its $250 million budget toward outside content, and Miyubi is the first in a host of non-gaming narrative projects. — VARIETY

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Facebook Spaces will not replace Oculus Rooms, says spokesperson Rachel Franklin. The VR social app Spaces was released in April and is available now to beta testers who have Oculus Rift headsets. Currently, the VR social app Rooms is only available to users on Samsung Gear headsets but will be available on Rift sometime this year. Facebook is the parent company of Oculus, and Franklin says Spaces will expand outside Oculus Rift to encourage more people to start using virtual reality with Facebook. — UPLOADVR

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