People are spending 5% less time on Facebook than previously, and that’s a good thing, according to Mark Zuckerberg.
During the presentation of fourth quarter earnings results, Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said that users spent 50 million hours less, per day, using the social network last quarter than the previous quarter. Those 50 million hours amounted to a 5 percent decline in time spent on the app.
On 12 January, the company’s founder announced new changes to the platform’s news feed that would prioritise posts from friends and family over content posted by news organisations and businesses. He also warned that this would likely reduce user time in the beginning.
However, the last quarter does not include these changes yet.
According to Recode, Facebook wants users to spend quality time on the app, rather than just scroll passively.
“On our last earnings call, I said that video done well can bring people together. But too often today, watching video is just a passive experience. To shift that balance, I said that we were going to focus on videos that encourage meaningful social interactions. So in Q4 we updated out video recommendations and made other quality changes to reflect these values.”
Recode speculates that “the concern, of course, is that Facebook’s business will suffer as a result. Virtually all of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising, and the more time people spend on the site, the more ads they will see. (The counter to this: fewer ads means higher demand, and it’s possible higher ad prices, which could offset fewer ads. We don’t know yet.)”
Meanwhile, it has emerged that Facebook has lost almost a million users in the US and Canada.