There’s a trend that should be very worrying for Facebook.
Namely, users were spending less time on the platform. According to Nielsen numbers through November of last year, interpreted by Pivotal, the social network lost about 4% in aggregated time spent.
Interestingly enough, the precipitous drop coincides with Facebook’s crackdown on pages that don’t comply with Mark Zuckerberg’s personal political views.
Now new numbers have been released that go through December, and the problem only seems to be getting worse. The updated data shows that Facebook’s core platform lost 18% in time spent, which is a huge change from the month before.
This, says Pivotal, reflects a 24% decline in time spent per person.” Instagram, too, saw some poor engagement numbers. Though aggregated consumption went up, the user base went up at a higher clip, meaning that time per person went down 9%.
Overall, this shows a mounting problem for Facebook: People are just engaging less with it. Algorithm changes may have something to do with it, and Zuckerberg even told shareholders to expect such a change. But these numbers could also indicate that people are becoming more fatigued by the platform.
It also comes at a time where more and more are calling for government oversight of the social media giant for blatant discrimination against anyone and everyone who doesn’t comply with Zuckerberg’s political views.
If this trend continues, we may be seeing a shift in the Facebook-Google duopoly. Given the fact that conservatives describe their experiences with Google and Facebook as akin to being Anne Frank trying to sneak messages out of the basement past the Gestapo, companies like AT&T demanding an “Internet Bill of Rights” because of rampant abuses by both social media giants, and legal scholars comparing the plight of conservatives online to that of residents of company towns being denied their civil rights, something has got to give.
The questions remain though: Will Facebook and Google give up their censorship of sanity, and if not, who will take their place?
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
March 9th, 2018