The world’s biggest social network isn’t getting bigger.
Meta posted your fourth quarter earnings Wednesday, sharing financial information that let Wall Street down enough to send its stock into a nose dive. The company’s shares, still traded under the ticker FB for now, are down 20 percent as the numbers hit.
While Meta’s last quarter saw some expected trends, including Apple’s iOS privacy changes hurting its ad business, it also came to light that the new fact that Facebook, Meta’s main app, is no longer attracting new users. users.
Facebook’s monthly active users (MAUs) were flat from Q3 to Q4 at 2.9 billion. Worse still, its daily active users (DAUs) dropped from 1.93 billion to 1.929 billion over the same period – a first for Facebook, known for a growth-at-all-costs approach.
Part of this is intuitive. Facebook is a mature product (to put it kindly) and there are only so many humans in markets around the world for the company to sign up for. And the company is putting more emphasis than ever on its “family” of apps, including WhatsApp and Instagram, newer products that likely still have some way to go in reaching that kind of saturation.
The slowdown in user growth came in the same quarter that the company formerly known as Facebook announced it would rebrand as a “metaverse” company, complete with plans to direct its resources towards building immersive virtual experiences.
The good news for Meta is that it still has the biggest social graph in the world. The bad news? Even if a user slowdown was to be expected, it’s just one more thing making Facebook – and consequently Facebook’s “App Family”, as Meta calls it – look more like a relic of the past than a bright vision of the future.