July 17, 2024

Facebook’s nightmare getting worse after falling user numbers

3 min read

Facebook’s nightmare is getting worse by day after falling user numbers and a drastic fall in share market value.

After a disastrous week in which decreasing user numbers led to huge share price reductions, Meta’s new nightmare is just getting worse.

Following whistleblower charges, regulatory issues, and a burgeoning #DeleteFacebook movement, the Mark Zuckerberg-owned firm rebranded to Meta late last year.

The horror got worse last week when Facebook owner Meta released its fourth-quarter profits, which revealed that the social network’s number of active users had dropped for the first time in its 18-year history, according to the BBC.

Zuckerberg attributed the drop to a drop in younger members who preferred Facebook’s competitors to the two-decade-old social network.

Meta’s stock price plummeted nearly 25% shortly after, wiping $230 billion off its market capitalization. It was one of the largest single-day drops ever recorded, according to reports.

Although Meta’s overall earnings of $33.6 billion slightly topped predictions, the consequences of a user exodus and Apple’s privacy measures signal that the data-hungry company has significant challenges in the future.

Apple’s App Following Transparency privacy feature, which prevents companies like Facebook from tracking users using iPhone identifiers, is wreaking havoc for the company, according to reports.

According to CNBC, it was originally estimated that the impact will cost $10 billion, a figure reiterated this week by Meta CFO Dave Wehner following the firm’s earnings report.

“We believe the impact of iOS overall is a headwind on our business in 2022,” he said. “It’s on the order of $10 billion, so it’s a pretty significant headwind for our business.”

And, as Facebook owner Meta concedes, the ramifications of Apple’s privacy changes could be considerably worse.

According to Wehner, the $10 billion number is only an estimate.

Facebook claims that the modifications are hurting the accuracy of its ads since it’s difficult to target people who use iPhones due to a lack of data.

Wehner of Meta criticized Apple’s relationship with Google, claiming that the iOS privacy enhancements aren’t having as great of an impact on search.

 “Given that Apple continues to take billions of dollars a year from Google Search, the incentive clearly is for this policy discrepancy to continue,” he said. 

The Facebook-Meta branding happened at the perfect time for the Zuckerberg-owned company last year. After multiple privacy scandals and whistleblower charges, Facebook’s brand had already been tarnished—the name had become poisonous.

Facebook is being pounded mercilessly. Apple’s privacy improvements were only implemented in the fourth quarter of last year.

While data control is a significant privacy benefit for iPhone users, it’s a never-ending Facebook’s nightmare.

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