Facebook parent company Meta’s quarterly earnings report released on Wednesday has marked a historic event in which the social media platform has lost daily users for the first time.
According to The Washington Post, Facebook lost daily users for the first time in its 18-year history. The platform fell by around half a million users in the last three months of 2021, down to 1.93 billion daily users.
This loss was markedly higher in Africa and Latin America, with the statistics suggesting that the social media platform is fallen stagnant globally.
In addition to losing users, Meta’s stock price dropped around 24 percent in trading Tuesday, falling to around $246 per share, and wiping more than $200 billion off its market value.
According to The Washington Post, "The company is facing challenges on multiple fronts, as competitor TikTok booms, federal and international regulators scrutinize its business practices, and it begins a lofty transition to focus on the 'metaverse.'"
Additionally, Facebook Reality Labs, the company’s hardware division that builds the popular virtual reality headset Oculus Quest, lost $3.3 billion in the quarter, despite bringing in $877 million in revenue. This comes as the company pushes to make significant investments towards becoming a hardware giant, which included hitting over 10,000 people.
“Last year was about putting a stake in the ground for where we are heading; this year is going to be about executing,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on the company’s earnings call.
During the call, Zuckerberg blamed the loss of daily users on competing social media app TikTok, with stress now being placed on Facebook’s competing TikTok-style videos, "Reels."
“People have a lot of choices for how they want to spend their time, and apps like TikTok are growing very quickly,” he said. “And this is why our focus on Reels is so important over the long term.”
Despite the drop in numbers though, Meta’s family of apps, which includes WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, slowly increased the number of users.
Additionally, monthly log ins to Facebook grew, despite daily users falling. The company noted as well that it continued to earn slightly more revenue per user.
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