Meta, owner of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, saw how $230 billion dollars of its market value vanished into thin air last week, marking the biggest one-day drop for any US stock in history.
This decline occurred after the company reported that user growth had slowed, a situation that showed that a drop in the number of visits to its sites is more dangerous for the social networking giant than any complaint.
In the last quarter of 2021, Facebook’s daily active users fell from 1.93 billion to 1.929 million. While that may not seem like much when compared to the overall figure, it’s the first time the company has reported a drop in daily usage since its founding 18 years ago.
Is this the beginning of the end for Facebook? The fact that the platform’s users are decreasing shows that it has less and less reason to exist, and that it is not very useful these days.
Currently, there is a platform that replaces almost everything that Facebook offers. For videos and live streams we have YouTube and Twitch; for stories and images, there’s Tiktok and Instagram; for instant messaging we have WhatsApp and Telegram; for work connections there is LinkedIn; for discussions there is Reddit or Quora; for news we have Twitter, and finally for dating there is Tinder.
Yes, Facebook offers the complete package, and it’s convenient to have all the features in one place. But sadly, the platform has lately become a place of retrograde discussions and often gratuitous and uninformed disqualifications.
In addition, Facebook collects huge amounts of data about its users, and it knows more about each of us than we realize, although this has never been a secret. Among the information collected by Facebook is your browsing history, location, and search history, which is data that many people would like to keep private. You can try to limit the amount of data Facebook collects, but that doesn’t change the spirit of the company.
In addition to data collection, Facebook tracks users while they visit other apps and websites. In fact, this is something that has unleashed a battle between Facebook and Apple, with the latter launching an anti-tracking feature that spells the end of the identifier for advertisers (IDFA). Apple argues that transparency is key, but Facebook, on the other hand, says the loss of this following will hurt its small business advertisers.
Either way, a lot of people find this following quite intrusive, like Generation Z and Millennials.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Meta, said the company’s sales growth has suffered as audiences, especially younger users, have turned to competitors such as TikTok and YouTube.
It is not common to see teenagers on Facebook. In fact, some say it’s a platform for “moms and grandpas.” On the other hand, they are all digital natives with a high degree of cultural understanding, a strong distaste for anything that violates their personal privacy, and a nose for political nonsense.
That’s why those under 18 have turned to other platforms: Tik Tok, Snapchat, and probably Instagram. This group wants end-to-end encryption, doesn’t want to be tracked, fears online harassment and hate speech, and doesn’t like ads. And above all, they do not want to be in the same social networks as their moms, dads, grandparents or any relative.
In 2017, Facebook lost about 2.8 million US users. under 25 years oldwith the greatest decrease located in the age segment of 12 to 17 years, and that is noticeable when entering Facebook.
And millennials are also on that path. Because let’s face it, Facebook is a hate machine, a place where negative content goes much more viral than positive. Consequently, conscientious millennials are becoming cautious.
Plus, they’re now officially too old to argue with strangers and acquaintances online, they’re not interested in having their moods manipulated, they don’t have as much free time to waste on Facebook every day, and they no longer need to go through this network to share photos of your animals or your children with friends or family as was done before.
Although initially Facebook had the objective of uniting all people, its effects have generated the opposite, causing the masses to put together a great debate about almost anything. Despite this, the mother of social networks will not die so soon. It is still possible to see many people over the age of 26 hanging around the platform, where they expose their achievements with virtual friends and share memes as if the years had not passed.