Facebook (Meta) is staring at a bleak future. It is working around the clock to save itself. But the attempts seem to be failing as nothing can save the social media platform. And only Facebook is to be blamed for it.
But the question is, why so? Well, there are multiple reasons for that.
Facebook to pay $90 million
In a recent development, Facebook (FB)-parent Meta is all set to pay $90 million to settle a decade-old class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed against the social media platform over a practice through which it used to track users’ activity across the internet, even if they had logged out of the platform.
The settlement, as they say, is believed to be the largest in the history of the social media company. According to DiCello Levitt Gutzler, one of the law firms, reported, “If approved, the agreement will also rank among the 10 largest data privacy class action settlements in the United States.”
Meta spokesperson Drew Pusateri, in a statement, stated, “Reaching a settlement in this case, which is more than a decade old, is in the best interest of our community and our shareholders and we’re glad to move past this issue.”
The case reportedly was filed in 2012 and is connected to a 2010 update by Facebook called “Open Graph”. The update was designed to give users’ friends a closer look at their activity and interests across the internet. Under the new update, the company launched a “Like” button plug-in on sites across the internet.
This “Like” button plug-in aided Facebook to gather data, using cookies, about users’ activity on that site. As per the court documents, this occurred regardless of whether the user actually used the button or even knew it was there.
However, the company attempted to whitewash the crime and said at the time that “It would not collect user-identifying cookies about a user’s activity on partner websites while they were logged out of Facebook.”
But researchers found that Facebook did not do so and continued to collect some identifying cookies on users’ internet activity even after they logged out of the platform.
A decline in the number of daily users
As per the reports, the number of users of the Facebook app aged between 13-19 years of age, decreased by 13 per cent since 2019. Moreover, it was projected to drop 45 per cent over the next two years. In addition to that, young adults between the ages of 20 and 30 were also assumed to decrease by 4 per cent during the same timeframe.
Facebook has been struggling a lot to attract users under the age of 30 since 2012. But as per documents, the problem has been witnessing a surge in past few years.
Earlier as reported by TFI, Meta’s fourth-quarter earnings showed daily users declining for the first time ever. Meanwhile, the company’s profit declined by 8 per cent to $10.28 billion in the December 2021 quarter, from $11.21 billion in the same period a year ago. The dreaded D-word suggests that Meta’s beginning of fall has indeed started.
Users switching to other social media platforms
The social media users who once used to rely on Facebook switched to Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. As per the study by Pew Research Center, it was found out that over half of US teens aged 13-17 use online platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.
While YouTube is believed to be used by 85%, Instagram users are around 72%. And, Snapchat has a user base of 69%.
Read more: In 3 to 4 years there will be no Facebook, or Meta as they like to call it
It is easier to access TV-like content from Snapchat and YouTube on smartphones rather than on Facebook. Publisher and promoted content have become more prominent in Facebook’s News Feed and that, seemingly, has pissed off users driving them to other social apps.
Instagram has made many meaningful product updates since 2015, likely helping it to hold users that may have fled Facebook. Moreover, Instagram is made for the phone. Period.
Apple disrupted the ad revenue market of Facebook
Read more: How Apple disrupted the Ad-revenue market of Facebook
Thus, it will be the ad revenue of Facebook, the second-largest digital ad platform in the world after Alphabet Inc’s Google, that will bear most of the brunt. It is being suggested that Apple’s new policy could cost Meta some $10 billion this year in ad revenue. Meta CFO David Wehner earlier this month was quoted as saying, “The impact of iOS overall as a headwind on our business in 2022 is on the order of $10 billion.”
The Facebook brand is already severely damaged given the recent revelations that the company is capitalizing on hate content. And now, the entry of Facebook into this new world of virtual reality would bring many new sets of issues for the company on top of existing ones.
Given the above instances, it is safe to say that yes, Facebook is dying a slow and excruciating death.