Years of scandals show for the first time ever that the world’s largest social network started bleeding users.
Hate posts that generate negative emotions, congressional investigations, and increasing criticism led people finally, and gradually, to abandon Facebook.
On Wednesday, right after Meta, the new parent company that includes Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Oculus, released its fourth-quarter 2021 earnings report, the company’s share fell more than 20% in extended trading.
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Meta posted poor earnings, provided weak guidance, and stated that user growth slowed. The most interesting data facebook brought evidence that between the final two quarters of last year, the world’s largest social network’s daily active users decreased very slightly, from 1.93 billion to 1.929 billion.
According to CNBC, it was the first quarterly decline in daily users in Facebook history, a figure predicted by analysts.
That is such a minute difference that it may be difficult to see at first sight while reviewing Meta’s earnings slides, but it is there. The decline was concentrated in the nebulous “Rest of World” category, which includes Latin America and Africa.
With a long list of misconduct regarding widespread COVID misinformation and insufficient methods to combat it, numerous frauds, and the perception that the site lets damaging remarks spread, anti-Facebook sentiment in a public debate appears to be at an all-time high.
Additionally, it appears as though everyone has had the depressing experience of debating politics on the site with a loved one. This alone is sufficient to convince a large number of individuals to abandon it.
Of course, there could be a plethora of other causes for this particular decline in user numbers to occur where and when it happened. It’s most intriguing because of how popular it has become in recent years to advocate for people to disconnect from the platform.
Whatever the explanation for the decline, the next quarterly report from Facebook just becomes a whole lot more fascinating.