According to a new report, Facebook users are spending 24 percent less time on the platform.
Fast Company reports that Nielsen numbers from November of last year, recently interpreted by Pivotal Research, showed that Facebook lost approximately four percent in aggregated time spent on the platform. New numbers have now been released that includes the month of December and seem to show that this problem is only getting worse for Facebook, as the number of users actively using the platform continues to dwindle. The new numbers appear to show that Facebook’s core platform lost 18% in time spent, a massive difference from the month previously.
Pivotal claims that these new numbers represent a 24% decline in time spent per person on the platform. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram also saw a drop in user engagement, aggregated consumption increased on the platform but so did the userbase, meaning that this resulted in an overall drop of time per person of nine percent. This would seem to paint a worrying picture for Facebook executives — in general people seem to be spending less time on the platform and engaging less with content and other users.
This may be linked to the company’s recent change in their news feed algorithm which has shifted to focus on posts from friends and family to the detriment of content publishers. CEO Mark Zuckerberg told shareholders that he expected a drop in user engagement because of the algorithm change, saying: “By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down.”
Pivotal Research is likely becoming a thorn in Facebook’s side also, having previously revealed that the company’s ad reach numbers did not match up with census data. At the time, Brian Wieser, a research analyst at the Pivotal Research Group, claimed that Facebook has been inflating their ad reach numbers by millions in order to give the appearance of improved advertisement reach. Facebook claims that their advertisements can reach 41 million 18-24 year-olds and 60 million 25-34 year-olds in the U.S. However, according to census data, there are only 31 million 18-24 year-olds and 45 million 25-34 year-olds in the entire U.S.