Even if you’re not a fan, you know that Facebook is one of the leading social media networks globally. The site exists in almost every country and boasts billions of active users. Facebook has maintained the top position achieving the various milestones and growing from greatness to greatness.
Unfortunately, the table seems to turn as the number of active daily users have declined for the first time in the site’s history. It all happened in the fourth quarter of 2021 when daily active users’ figures fell to 1.92 billion from 1.93 of the previous quarter.
Of course, such a slight decline wouldn’t bother websites even if it was annual statistics, let alone a day, but the drop indicates a major issue for Facebook. Is this the beginning of the end of Facebook? We explore the top reasons why people are quitting the social media platform.
- No More Expansion
When Facebook launched in 2004, only students from selected universities were allowed to sign up and interact on the platform. Perhaps this was a pilot project to test the waters before the site could be released to the public. Today, Facebook is available in nearly every country, although it remains banned in a few countries like Iran and China. Therefore, anyone who wants to sign up for a new Facebook account can do it, provided they have a gadget that can connect to the internet.
There are no signs that the Facebook bans will ever be lifted, leaving the site with nowhere else to expand geographically. This aspect places Facebook in a tricky situation of wooing old users back to the platform and targeting new and exotic sociodemographic groups.
- The Threat of New Entrants
It’s no secret that other social media platforms like TikTok now have a dominating force online. Around the same time that Facebook reported a decline in the number of active users, TikTok claimed that it had attained a billion active users on its platform.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself admitted that TikTok was part of why Facebook was losing active users. In fact, Facebook quickly launched Reels, a platform to share video clips, in a bid to diversify from its text-heavy and status-driven approach. The site’s main objective was to capture the short-form video market and counter TikTok’s advances.
- The Youth is No Longer Interested in Facebook
A few years ago, young people relied on Facebook to interact with family members and friends and post their status for everyone to see. Now, they are flocking to TikTok, but that’s not their only destination platform.
Teenagers are finding it better to connect through games like Roblox and Fortnite or platforms like Discord. They now treat Facebook as a space for the older generations to check up on their family. Specifically, kids prefer the lively and imaginative 3D worlds offered by video games. Here, they can have fun and chat with their friends through a shared experience.
Facebook seems to have a copy of these developments as its internal researchers predicted that it might lose almost 50% of its users by the end of 2022. The company’s presentation notes that young adults regard Facebook content as negative and misleading in addition to concerns about their privacy.
- Increased Internet Prices
The economic costs brought about by the pandemic seem to have a toll on the cost of services, discouraging users from some platforms. Subsequently, countries are increasing service prices to address the economic impact. For instance, major telecoms in India, Facebook’s largest market, raised their prepaid tariffs by about 25%, affecting most internet users, specifically Facebook users. The changes are likely to adversely impact a large population on lower incomes, meaning that accessing Facebook in the country is extremely high.
Notably, Facebook users in India are almost twice the number of users in the US, mainly because TikTok is banned there. Now, Facebook reports that growth in India has slowed dramatically due to the increase in data prices.
Which Way Facebook?
Meta, Facebook’s parent company, has some grasp online with other services like Instagram and WhatsApp, which help it balance the risk. Therefore, we shouldn’t expect Facebook to collapse any time soon, but for sure, the company is putting up measures to ensure that the platform is no longer a sinking ship.