Facebook user growth stagnates
Facebook has more than one billion users, and can safely be called a cultural, economic, and social phenomenon. Users across the world have been devoting countless hours to the site. The importance of this social media platform to businesses, communication, journalism, and social relationships cannot be overstated. For the first time in its 18-year history, Facebook lost daily users. The lower-than-expected ad growth sent its stock plunging by nearly 20 percent. The loss was greatest in Africa, Latin America, and India.
One of the causes for Facebook’s decreasing user base is its aging user base, and the fact that it has run out of new countries to expand into. Younger audiences are flocking to TikTok, but that’s not the only platform they are favoring over Facebook. Children and teenagers are more drawn to platforms like Fortnite and Roblox. The older generations see Facebook as a space where they can catch up with family and friends. The younger generations prefer virtual spaces like Roblox, where they can enjoy fun, shared experiences.
Facebook’s executives have said that they expected revenue growth to slow down as more users were posting their content in ‘Stories’, a Snapchat-like feature where photos and videos vanish after 24 hours. According to Zuckerberg, Facebook’s efforts to shift from Newsfeed to Stories hasn’t been smooth. He is optimistic that Facebook will get ads in Stories to perform well over time.
Monthly active users are growing
The number of daily users active during this quarter on any of Meta’s social media apps- Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger- increased from 2.81 billion people to 2.82 billion people.
Expansion into new terrain
Facebook’s transformation into Meta has resulted in more focus on building an immersive, virtual-reality based internet. Meta is focusing on new research and development, as well as on building out its existing VR platform, Oculus. Facebook’s transition from social media giant to metaverse company is gaining some traction with customers.Oculus headsets were an extremely popular Christmas gift last year, for instance.
Rising data prices
The largest market of Facebook is India. It has almost twice the number of users as it has in the United States. According to David Wehner, CFO of Meta, the user growth in India has slowed due to the country’s increasing data prices. In November 2021, all major telecom service providers in India increased their prepaid tariffs by up to 25%. These changes are likely to impact those with lower incomes, and means that the cost of having access to Facebook in India has never been higher.
People have a lot of choices on how to spend their time, and other interactive apps are growing quickly. People also have concerns over user privacy. The company will continue to reimagine what its platform can look like, hopefully leading to a steady growth in its user base.