For the first time ever Facebook has reported that daily active users declined in the last quarter. In the last three months of 2017, time spent on the site declined by about 5%. Facebook shares took a hit, but recovered somewhat when Facebook executives outlined their plan to keep revenues up by increasing prices.
The lower traffic comes at a time when there is increased scrutiny on the effects social networks and mobile technology are having on children, and even adults. Mark Zuckerberg has begun investigating how to make Facebook users experience better by emphasizing “meaningful connections,” instead of browsing.
Hannah Kuchler writes in Financial Times:
Time on the site declined by roughly 50m hours every day in the latest quarter, about 5 per cent. The number of users in the US and Canada logging on every day fell by 700,000 to 184m.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive, is pushing ahead with a transformation of its news feed this month, which it has warned will also hit engagement.
Mr Zuckerberg said that 2017 had been a “strong” but “hard” year for the company.
“In 2018, we’re focused on making sure Facebook isn’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s wellbeing and for society,” he said. “By focusing on meaningful connections, our community and business will be stronger over the long term.”
Read more here (subscription required).
Jeremy Jones, CFA
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