Wednesday, September 28

Facebook loses users for the first time in its history

  • Half a million people abandoned their accounts in the world’s most popular social network by the end of 2021, which now has 1,929 million users

  • The slowdown in growth and its advertising revenues lead to the shares of the platform on the stock market plummeting up to 20%

One day it had to happen. For the first time in its history, Facebook loses daily users. In the last quarter of 2021, the giant of the social networks registered a decrease of up to 500,000 users, which has led to its first setback since the founding of the company in 2004, 17 years ago.

With all this, Facebook now has 1,929 million active daily users worldwide, which continues to maintain it as the digital platform most popular in the world. Although this decrease may seem small in general terms, the figure certifies the concern of the American technology company about a slowdown in its growth and in the income it obtains from advertising (its main business), a problem that has been dragging on for years.

That setback is also having a significant economic effect. The publication of these results made the actions of Meta -parent company of Facebook, Instagram Y WhatsApp– will plummet as much as 20%, knocking about $200 billion off their market valuation all at once. If those losses continue, it would be Facebook’s worst trading day since its debut on Wall Street in 2012.

That fall in the stock market reflects the concern of the company’s investors about the stagnation of its main business, social networks. And it is that Facebook lost up to a million daily users in North America, the region where it generates the most income per advertising.

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Less popular with young people

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Last October, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company he founded and directs was renamed Meta, in an effort to make a strategic shift to focus on the development of virtual reality and of what has been nicknamed ‘metaverso‘, an idea still diffuse and in the first phase of construction. The decision came amid scandal over internal revelations about the harmful impact that Facebook has on public debate and on the mental health of young people. Although the announcement has triggered the attraction and investment in these digital spaces, it has not solved the lack of popularity of the platform among the youngest – who prefer TikTok The Snapchat– nor the concern of its shareholders.

That does not mean that Meta has economic problems, but that it may have reached a ceiling. Last year the parent company of Facebook raised nearly $40 billion in Benefits, most of them coming from the advertising income obtained with the exploitation of data of its users. The investment in the metaverse project is not, at the moment, so profitable: RealityLabs, the division responsible for augmented reality glasses or virtual reality helmets Quest, suffered losses of almost 8,000 million dollars.

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