Facebook lost over 1 million daily users in North America for the first time

Facebook's Q4 earnings call was a mixed bag, with many indications that the company is now feeling the effects of social media fatigue among a significant portion of their userbase. 

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg
facebook ceo mark zuckerberg

Facebook lost users in North America for the first time ever in the last quarter of 2017, dropping 1 million across the United States and Canada from 185 to 184 million.


This comes on the heels of reporting from Recode on Facebook's Q4 earnings call where Facebook’s Q4 stats indicated that overall people spent 50 million fewer hours on the largest social network on the planet.

Both of these developments could be attributed to a number of factors over the last 12 months, including the ongoing struggle to combat “fake news” accounts, the volatile news cycle, and a general sense of exhaustion among those who previously found their communities on Facebook enjoyable spaces to hang out in.

Any drop in users is going to affect earnings, and Facebook has indicated profits were way down at the end of 2017, citing both the drop in North American users (each of whom is worth $26.76 to Facebook) and the new tax legislation implemented by Congress, which added over 2 billion dollars to the company’s tax bill for 2017.

While the drop in users may not seem like a lot, it could indicate the start of a downward trend that would have a ripple effect over the next few years as unless tech companies begin to seriously deal with the real-world impacts of social media in a much more aggressive way. Safety from harassment has never been more in the forefront of people’s minds when they’re online, and the last several years and proven that there are still many vulnerabilities technological, cultural, and legal that still need to be confronted for the relationship between users and social platforms to improve.

Time will tell if this drop in daily users is a momentary blip or the beginning of a more serious exodus from social media for many people.

 

How New York's largest hospital system is predicting COVID-19 spikes

Northwell Health is using insights from website traffic to forecast COVID-19 hospitalizations two weeks in the future.

Credit: Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The machine-learning algorithm works by analyzing the online behavior of visitors to the Northwell Health website and comparing that data to future COVID-19 hospitalizations.
  • The tool, which uses anonymized data, has so far predicted hospitalizations with an accuracy rate of 80 percent.
  • Machine-learning tools are helping health-care professionals worldwide better constrain and treat COVID-19.
Keep reading Show less

Listen: Scientists re-create voice of 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy

Scientists used CT scanning and 3D-printing technology to re-create the voice of Nesyamun, an ancient Egyptian priest.

Surprising Science
  • Scientists printed a 3D replica of the vocal tract of Nesyamun, an Egyptian priest whose mummified corpse has been on display in the UK for two centuries.
  • With the help of an electronic device, the reproduced voice is able to "speak" a vowel noise.
  • The team behind the "Voices of the Past" project suggest reproducing ancient voices could make museum experiences more dynamic.
Keep reading Show less

Dark matter axions possibly found near Magnificent 7 neutron stars

A new study proposes mysterious axions may be found in X-rays coming from a cluster of neutron stars.

A rendering of the XMM-Newton (X-ray multi-mirror mission) space telescope.

Credit: D. Ducros; ESA/XMM-Newton, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
Surprising Science
  • A study led by Berkeley Lab suggests axions may be present near neutron stars known as the Magnificent Seven.
  • The axions, theorized fundamental particles, could be found in the high-energy X-rays emitted from the stars.
  • Axions have yet to be observed directly and may be responsible for the elusive dark matter.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Put on a happy face? “Deep acting” associated with improved work life

    New research suggests you can't fake your emotional state to improve your work life — you have to feel it.

    Credit: Columbia Pictures
    Personal Growth
  • Deep acting is the work strategy of regulating your emotions to match a desired state.
  • New research suggests that deep acting reduces fatigue, improves trust, and advances goal progress over other regulation strategies.
  • Further research suggests learning to attune our emotions for deep acting is a beneficial work-life strategy.
  • Keep reading Show less
    Surprising Science

    World's oldest work of art found in a hidden Indonesian valley

    Archaeologists discover a cave painting of a wild pig that is now the world's oldest dated work of representational art.

    Scroll down to load more…
    Quantcast