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History made: Facebook daily use declined for first time ever last quarter
- For the first time in history, the number of average daily users on Facebook declined.
- Quarter-over-quarter, Facebook saw one million fewer users visiting the site daily.
- This news, combined with a lackluster earnings report, saw Meta’s stock drop by nearly 20%.
Over the past few years, Facebook has had its fair share of controversies. The Cambridge Audio Analytica scandal was a big one, but the various security breaches were also pretty bad. However, none of this stopped people from actually using the site. Every quarter, like clockwork, the average number of daily users went up or at least stayed stagnant.
That streak just ended (via The Verge). As a true sign of Facebook decline, parent company Meta reported its first-ever drop in average daily Facebook users. This past quarter, the site saw 1.929 billion daily users. In the quarter prior, it saw 1.93 billion.
See also: How to delete your Facebook account
Sure, that’s only a difference of one million people, but it represents a larger shift of the public away from Facebook.
Outside of Facebook, Meta’s other properties saw fairly flat growth, with only 10 million daily users added for Instagram and WhatsApp.
In addition to this poor growth, Meta announced lower-than-expected ad revenue. The Facebook decline and low revenue caused Meta’s stock to drop by around 20%, instantly wiping $200 billion off its market value.
Facebook decline: Big bets on VR and the metaverse
Meta has clearly seen the writing on the wall. With this dismal quarterly report, Marck Zuckerberg placed a ton of emphasis on its line of Quest products, including the breakout star of the 2021 holiday season, the Quest 2. Zuckerberg said a new VR headset is coming in 2022 and will be on the “high end of the price spectrum.”
However, the VR division is bleeding cash, with a $10.2 billion loss in 2021 and revenue of $2.3 billion — a pittance compared to Meta ad revenue, which came to $40 billion in profit just in 2021.
Meta most likely hopes VR and the so-called “metaverse” will be its saving grace. But can it survive with the Facebook decline cutting into its market value at such a significant rate? Time will tell.