Facebook Reports Users Reducing Time On Site
People are using Facebook less often than before, according to a new report. Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has reported a 5 percent drop in the total amount of time users spend on the social network. It is believed that the tweaks made to the content the network shows users are causing users to spend less time on the service.
The network now shows fewer viral videos in the News Feed. Facebook will also show users more content from friends and less from brands and publishers in the News Feed. The company is also doubling the number of people who work on safety and security to 20,000. The changes are meant to improve the quality of the user experience.
When the changes were announced, it was expected that they would lead to a drop in user engagement and time spent on the platform. Now, we have an idea of how much of a drop it will be. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement, “In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day.” However, Facebook’s latest numbers don’t yet reflect the full impact of news feed changes, as they have only been implemented for about a month.
Facebook also released its financial results for the year. Sales reached nearly $13 billion for the quarter, an increase of 47 percent from the same period a year prior. Facebook has become one of the world’s most valuable corporations since its creation in a college dormitory in 2004. Facebook didn’t change its revenue growth forecast for 2018, indicating that the company is confident its advertising business will not suffer from the News Feed changes.
Facebook also reported it’s first-ever decline in daily users in the U.S. and Canada. It had 184 million daily users in this region in the quarter, down from 185 million in the prior quarter. The company now has 2.13 billion monthly active users and 1.4 billion daily users. The stock fell as much as 5 percent in after-hours trading following the earnings report
Zuckerberg described 2017 as a “hard year” for the company on a conference call with analysts this week. The company has been embroiled in a number of scandals involving fake news, filter bubbles and foreign meddling in the U.S. election. Those issues are what sparked many of the changes at hand. Zuckerberg commented, “We have a responsibility to fully understand how our services are used and to do everything we can to amplify the good.”