It’s always at least a little bit satisfying, when you read that Big Tech and other big companies, take a little dip in the stock market.
Facebook for the first time, since its inception in 2004, has reported that they have lost a huge amount of daily users from its platform and the result is Facebooks stock price plummeted by 23 percent, which translates to around $200 billion in market value.
For the entirety of its existence, nearly 18 years, the social media giant has enjoyed a steady increase in users and the sudden drop in people wanting their service, came as quite a shock to Zuckerberg and Facebook’s parent company, Meta.
Not all things can continue to grow though, and Zuckerberg has been dealt some bitter reality pills. You can’t censor those who you rely on to use your service.
Let’s face it, there was life before Facebook and quite frankly, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it wasn’t around anymore. Mark should remember this.
The drop in users wasn’t just Facebook, it also extended to Instagram and WhatsApp, also owned by Meta, which reported flat user growth for the last quarter. Nearly one million daily users in North America have dropped off the service.
Despite the fact that Facebook treats most of its daily platform users with disdain, the majority of Facebook’s advertising, comes from North America.
The company makes profits of almost $40 billion per year, but lately some of the projects that Zuckerberg has been working on, isn’t translating to consumers. Projects like Reality Labs, which works with the Quest virtual reality headset, are losing billions of dollars.
Zuckerberg has attempted to change Facebook’s public image, rebranding it as Meta, ushering in virtual reality internet. Reality Labs lost $10.2 billion last year and only pulled in about $2.3 billion.
And while Zuckerberg wonders why people are abandoning his platform in droves, a recent report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may shed a light on why.
2021 hit a record high for social media users to be ripped off by scammers, reaching around $770 million and the majority of those who had money scammed from them, were Facebook and Instagram users, more than 95,000 of them.
In 2020, the amount of money scammed from users was around $258 million, only a third of the 2021 figures.
The FTC report said there wasn’t one particular reason for people getting scammed, but it did say that scams have risen significantly over the past 5 years. Scams ranged from cryptocurrency scams, which accounted for around $285 million of the $770 million stolen, and “romance scams” or “catfishing”, where a scammer will pose as someone attractive, pretending to “be in love” in order to convince people to send money.
The FTC stated: “These scams often start with a seemingly innocent friend request from a stranger, followed by sweet talk, and then, inevitably, a request for money.”
Other scams were simply products that people had purchased that were never delivered, purchased via Facebook ads.
Many other scams related to online shopping, the majority involved “undelivered goods” that were purchased via social media ads.
The FTC stated in the report that “more than a third of people who said they lost money to an online romance scam in 2021 said it began on Facebook or Instagram.”
A Meta (Facebook) spokesperson said in a statement: “We put significant resources towards tackling this kind of fraud and abuse. We also go beyond suspending and deleting accounts, Pages, and ads. We take legal action against those responsible when we can and always encourage people to report this behavior when they see it.”