Gigaom

By almost any measure, Facebook is one of the most successful technology companies of the past half a century or so. It has close to a billion active users, and more than half a billion of them access the giant social network daily — and in just eight years, the company has grown from a tiny startup into a virtual colossus with annual revenues of about $4 billion. Unfortunately for CEO Mark Zuckerberg, that kind of growth creates some fairly astronomical expectations for the future, and on Thursday the company got a quick lesson in what happens when you don’t meet those kinds of expectations, after it released its first quarterly earnings report as a public company.

As my GigaOM colleague Ki Mae reported, Facebook’s results met or exceeded analysts’ consensus estimates for the quarter in most areas: the company reported revenue of just over $1 billion — an increase…

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