Just a few weeks after Facebook started tweaking the news feed to promote more interaction, changes are now coming into effect. Facebook said the overall usage of its platform dropped by “roughly 50 million hours every day” compared to the previous quarter.
Astonishingly, this quarter also saw the first ever decline in the growth of daily active users (DAU) on Facebook in the US and Canada, two of the most deeply penetrated regions by the social media giant. DAUs dropped from 185 million to 184 million in the US and Canada and stayed flat at 239 million for monthly users. This was despite Facebook posting a 14 percent quarter-over-quarter increase in daily and monthly active users worldwide.
Although, Recode reported that while usage grew globally, the growth was slower since 2015.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg did warn us about the decline in usage earlier in January claiming it was an expected change after the tweaks to the news feed. Yesterday, in a Facebook post, Zuckerberg said, “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.”
That’s a drop roughly of 2.14 minutes per user, as pointed out by TechCrunch. Facebook said the decline in total time spent is by 5 percent.
Essentially, after Facebook decided to show fewer viral content, daily active users fell by 700,000 in the US and Canada. Zuckerberg explained he has directed his employees to promote content with most interactions than the most meaningful content. The change means people will find lesser content that is informative and entertaining, but isn't special enough to share and circulate.