Following years of scandals, congressional investigations, and generally negative emotions, it appears that people are finally and slowly abandoning Facebook.
On Wednesday, Meta, the new name for the parent company that includes Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus, released its fourth-quarter earnings report, which had one very stunning fact concealed among the pile of business jargon. Between the fourth and fifth quarters of last year, Facebook’s daily active users fell slightly, from 1.93 billion to 1.929 billion.
When glancing at Meta’s earnings slides, the difference is so minor that it’s difficult to notice at first sight, but it’s there. The reduction was mostly in the “Rest of the World” category, which includes Latin America and Africa. According to CNBC, it was Facebook’s first quarterly loss in daily users on record, and it fell short of the 1.95 billion target predicted by analysts for the period.
Of course, there could be a slew of reasons why this particular decline in users happened when and where it did. Without guessing, it’s largely intriguing because of how popular it’s become in recent years to urge for individuals to disassociate themselves from the site. Anti-Facebook sentiment in public debate appears to be at an all-time high, because to widespread COVID misinformation and insufficient methods to combat it, numerous frauds, and the impression that the site allows bad things to spread just because they’re popular.
Furthermore, it appears that everyone has had the disheartening experience of debating politics with a loved one on the web. That alone is enough to drive a lot of folks away. Whatever the cause for the decline, Facebook’s next quarterly report is about to get a whole lot more fascinating.
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