Time spent on Facebook down by 50 million hours per day in pursuit of ‘meaningful interactions’

The company is converging to show content that drives the most meaningful interactions, explains Mark Zuckerberg

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Highlights

    • Time spent on Facebook down by 50 million hours per day
    • Revenue in the fourth quarter rose to $12.97 billion from the $8.81 billion last year
    • Percentage daily user growth has slowed down too

Facebook announced its quarterly results and the numbers in the report card don’t look so good. In the company’s fourth-quarter 2017 earnings, the report showed the time spent on the network that drives the revenue is down by an estimated 50 million hours per day.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced, “Already last quarter, we made changes to show fewer viral videos to make sure people’s time is well spent. In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day.”

Facebook now has 1.4 billion daily active users and average reach of 2.13 billion a month. If you calculate the 50 million hours estimate that is nearly a drop of 2.1 minutes per day per user. Mark said that the total time spent on Facebook is down by 5 percent.

The decline of daily active users was clearly visible in the U.S. and Canada region. With viral video changes and other ‘prioritisation’, it led to a decline of 70,000 daily active users in these regions. The quarter-over-quarter percentage daily user growth has slowed down to nearly 2.24 percent, TechCrunch notes.

FacebookHowever, despite such a dip in usage, Facebook’s revenue estimates were pretty good. The company’s revenue in the fourth quarter rose to $12.97 billion from the $8.81 billion in the same period the previous year, as per Forbes. The publication further cited that the earned profit was $4.23 billion, a 20 percent jump from earlier year. Mobile ad revenue showed a rough 89 percent of total ad sales in the fourth quarter, a near 5 percent up from the previous year estimate.

Changing the directive to the employees, Mark explained that the company is converging to show content that drives the most meaningful interactions.

2017 was a strong year for Facebook, but it was also a hard one. In 2018, we’re focused on making sure Facebook isn’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being and for society. We’re doing this by encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content,” the CEO said in a statement.

By focusing on meaningful interactions, I believe that the time spent on Facebook will be more valuable,” he further said.

Facebook’s alacrity to ‘promote user well-being’ seems to be a good move but that doesn’t save the company from severe backlash by its community. The company has been criticised for putting a negative impact on data privacy and the recent allegation of spreading Russian propaganda during the 2016 presidential election and the presence of fake news on site.

Facebook is taking initiative in addressing several important issues including data privacy and tools. The company recently introduced Facebook Watch, a video on demand service. The tech giant also tweaked the News Feed and noted that there are more changes to follow.