Social media giant Facebook saw a surge in user growth at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but now that surge appears to be slowing down. The company claims that the decrease was expected and could continue through the end of the year.
Engadget reports that Facebook saw a major surge in users at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but now user growth in the United States and Canada has declined. These two areas account for the company’s most lucrative ad market.
The growth numbers were released as part of Facebook’s third-quarter earnings report and stated that the firm now had 196 million North American users, down from 198 million last quarter. The company stated that the decrease was expected and could continue through the end of the year.
As expected, in the third quarter of 2020, we saw Facebook DAUs and MAUs in the US & Canada decline slightly from the second quarter 2020 levels which were elevated due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, we expect this trend to continue and that the number of DAUs and MAUs in the US & Canada will be flat or slightly down compared to the third quarter of 2020.
Facebook lost users in the US this quarter + company expects it will lose more next as people get back to more "normal" use post-COVID pic.twitter.com/fWPn2b60zc
— Karissa Bell (@karissabe) October 29, 2020
Despite the slowdown in user growth, Facebook still reported revenue of $21.4 billion for the quarter, an increase of 22 percent from last year, and better than analysts’ expectations for the quarter.
Zuckerberg stated during a call with analysts that the social media site was working hard to prepare for the upcoming election and stated that he’s worried about “civil unrest” after election day. “I’m worried that with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or weeks to be finalized, there is a risk of civil unrest across the country,” Zuckerberg said.