According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, users spent 50 million fewer hours per day on the website last quarter. He claims it is a result of changes that will make Facebook “stronger over the long term.”
Time reports that following Facebook’s update to their newsfeed system, Mark Zuckerberg states that users spent 50 million fewer hours per day on the platform last quarter. In a post to Facebook, Zuckerberg said “Our focus in 2018 is making sure Facebook isn’t just fun, but also good for people’s well-being and for society,” he continued, “We’re doing this by encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content. Already last quarter, we made changes to show fewer viral videos to make sure people’s time is well spent.”
The Facebook CEO stated, “In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day.” The company’s stock fell by approximately 4 percent following the announcement of the drop in user engagement. Although, Facebook had an impressive year of performance in 2017 with Zuckerberg stating, “2017 was a strong year for Facebook in many ways. Our community continues to grow with more than 2.1 billion people now using Facebook every month and 1.4 billion people using it daily. Our business grew 47 percent year-over-year to $40 billion.”
Zuckerberg discussed the update to users newsfeeds, which placed a heavy focus on interaction with family and friends on Facebook rather than with publishers pages and video content. Zuckerberg stated that he expected a drop in engagement as a result, “We’re already starting to see this play out,” said the Facebook CEO. “On our last earnings call, I said that video done well can bring people together, but too often today, watching video is just a passive experience. To shift the balance, I said that we were going to focus on videos that encourage meaningful social interactions. In Q4, we updated our video recommendations and made other quality changes to reflect these values,” he continued, “We estimate these updates decreased time spent on Facebook by roughly 5% in the fourth quarter. To put that another way: we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by an estimated 50 million hours every day to make sure people’s time is well spent. That’s how serious we are about this.”
Read the full Facebook post below.