Facebook yesterday published its fourth quarter and FY results. In the announcement, the company's CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the recent changes to the social media platform has resulted in reducing the time people spent on the platform by roughly 50 million hours every day. As we reported earlier, the News Feed now prioritizes posts made by your fiends and family rather than celebrities or businesses.
"2017 was a strong year for Facebook, but it was also a hard one. In 2018, we're focused on making sure Facebook isn't just fun to use, but also good for people's well-being and for society. We're doing this by encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content," commented Zuckerberg while presenting Facebook's Q4 earnings.
"Already last quarter, we made changes to show fewer viral videos to make sure people's time is well spent. In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day. By focusing on meaningful connections, our community and business will be stronger over the long term," he added.
Facebook's top executives, however, assured the investors that its digital ad business would remain highly profitable, despite the reduced hourly usage on the social media network and an overhaul of its News Feed. To prove the point further, Zuckerberg said, "I want to be clear: The most important driver of our business has never been time spent by itself. It's the quality of the conversations and connections."
On the upside, Facebook's quarterly revenue increased by 47% from last year. The company's yearly earning report also revealed that the platform now has 1.40 billion daily active users, up by 14% from a year earlier. However, it was below analysts' estimate of 1.41 billion for the fourth quarter, as per financial data and analytics firm FactSet.
The number of daily users in the US and Canada fell for the first time in Facebook's history. On the company's home turf, now the platform has 184 million daily active users, 700,000 less than from the previous quarter.
Surprisingly, the dip in daily users in the US made almost no impact on the company's total revenue. Facebook earned $12.97 billion, which is up by 47%, reported Reuters.