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Facebook user growth, time spent fall on news feed changes

Facebook user growth, time spent fall on news feed changes

"We're doing this by encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content".

Facebook's year was marred by challenges that led Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg to rethink the company's main product, the news feed, and warn the changes could reduce time spent and engagement on the social network.

The company reported fourth quarter revenue of almost $13bn, up 47% from the same period in 2016.

Pressure has been building on Facebook and its CEO as the toxic content flowing through Facebook - violent live videos, fabricated news articles and divisive messages from Russian operatives that rocked the 2016 US presidential campaign - has been blamed for social problems. Facebook still brought in $4.26 billion in profits last quarter.

"I don't think there will be much impact from the News Feed changes on how advertisers think about Facebook".

Facebook's daily active users reached 1.4 billion in December of 2017, compared to 1.23 billion in December of 2016.

Facebook said about 1.40 billion people were using its service daily as of December 31, up 14 percent from a year earlier, compared with analysts' estimate of 1.41 billion, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet. The focus on more "meaningful connections" is expected to make the company's long-term future more viable.

In order to promote local content, Facebook said in a blog post that it will "identify local publishers as those whose links are clicked on by readers in a tight geographic area". The tech firm, though, saw its daily active users in the United States and Canada dropped from 185 million to 184 million between the third and fourth quarter.

"I want to be clear: by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down", he wrote on Facebook on Jan 12.

But the Facebook's profits were much lower than expected, which the company is attributing the recent tax overhaul passed by Congress last past year.

"Most ranking changes are tested for days or weeks, but given how significant a change this is we'll likely run it for months", Facebook exec Adam Mosseri, who oversees News Feed, said last October.

We shouldn't be surprised; Facebook has been evolving into a pay-to-play platform for some time, but it's truly worrying for emerging bands with little to no budget for digital marketing. That included a one-time charge as a result of the recently introduced tax reform law that reduced earnings per share by 77 cents.

The $13 billion in sales wasn't enough to satiate Wall Street, however, with shares of Facebook falling more than 4 percent after hours to below $180 a share.

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