Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has stated that there would always be a ‘free version’ of Facebook, leaving open the possibility of a paid, ad-free version of the social network.
Mr Zuckerberg was answering questions in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data collection scandal.
Speaking in front of a joint session of several US senate committees, Mr Zuckerberg said his company was in a constant battle with Russian operators seeking to exploit the social network. He said the company was now developing new tools to identify fake accounts.
The 33-year-old, who is worth an estimated $64.1bn, fended off questions from senators about how the social network might be regulated more closely, saying he would welcome regulation, if it was the "right regulation," though he avoided specifics.
By the first break in proceedings, Facebook's share price had risen by almost 5 per cent, as markets reacted well to Mr Zuckerberg's performance, increasing his net worth by an estimated $3bn.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal emerged after it was revealed that the company bought Facebook user data from an academic, Aleksandr Kogan, who developed a Facebook personality quiz that not only collected data from the people who used it but also from their Facebook friends.
Last week, the European Commission announced that personal data from more than 6,000 Maltese Facebook users in the EU had been shared with the analytics firm.