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Meta: For the first time in its history, Facebook loses users

Meta: For the first time in its history, Facebook loses users

At the end of 2021, Facebook lost one million daily users. The competition is fierce, and Meta, the parent company of the social network, has to deal with Snapchat and TikTok, which are very popular with the youngest.

In eighteen years of existence, this is a first. The social network Facebook recorded a drop of around one million daily users between the last two quarters of the year 2021. A drop of water in an ocean of daily virtual exchanges – the number of users fell from 1.930 billion to 1.929 billion – but that matters.

The other social networks of the Meta group are nevertheless catching up with this slight lack of interest in Facebook: as of December 31, 2021, 2.8 billion people visited one of the four platforms and messaging services (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp) at least once a day. , or 8% more people than last year.

Significant financial consequences

The dropout of Facebook still had consequences on the empire of Mark Zuckerberg. Meta posted revenue of $33.67 billion, in line with its forecast, but it generated "only" $10.3 billion in net profit in the fourth quarter, 8% less than Last year.

The action of the group also fell Wednesday, February 3: the title unscrewed by more than 22% during electronic trading after the closing of the New York Stock Exchange.

Fierce competition

These poor results can be explained in different ways according to a press release published by the American digital giant. First, by the drop in performance of targeted advertising which occurs after the implementation of GDPR regulations in Europe and the change in advertising tracking on iphones. In the iOS update, the Apple brand has required application publishers to seek permission before collecting data, much to the regret of companies like Meta whose business model is based on the sale of finely targeted advertisements according to consumer tastes and habits.

But the leaders of Meta mainly point the finger at the competition. In recent years, Facebook has attracted fewer and fewer young people  : they prefer to turn to Snapchat or TikTok. This is what Dave Weiner, the group's chief financial officer, clarified during a conference call for analysts:

“We also believe that competing platforms are hurting our growth, especially with younger audiences. »

The Metaverse objective

Meta therefore has a harder time holding users' attention. “People have a lot of choices about how they want to spend their time. And apps like TikTok are growing very quickly ,” insisted Mark Zuckerberg, founder and boss of Meta.