Facebook is Losing Numbers in a Bad Way
September 7, 2018
Facebook has faced a cacophony of drama this year following last year’s Cambridge Analytica scandal. The social media magnate has been in and out of court hearings lead by the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Ongoing investigations, government requests, and cleanup efforts have been made, and it appears that the citizens of the United States have finally sat up and taken notice.
Following the original debacle, Facebook dropped in the stocks and saw an immediate decrease in celebrity users who feared for their privacy and security. Along with the celebrities went everyday users who agreed that Facebook’s information collection tactics were off base.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal involved the collection and distribution of data to a marketing company during the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. The allegations are that Facebook mined the personal information to help a company known to be supporting Trump in his campaign, therefore using personal user data to further this cause.
The social media platform appeared to bounce back finally, regaining some of its lost footing in the past few months, but recent studies show that the company might still be in trouble. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center saw that over the late spring months there was a 42% decrease in adult American users. Of this group, a quarter deleted the phone app, while half tried to fix settings to include better privacy.
While the loss in adult users was vast, there must have been an influx of teen and child users, as Facebook saw an increase in ad revenue of approximately $2-billion, along with a 5-million user spike near the beginning of the summer season. Experts have tried to explain the positive changes to Facebook’s numbers as being linked to their recently increasing market presence. There could also be some bad blood between poll takers and the social media network for their work in the Cambridge Analytica problem to blame for the inconsistency.
The stats show that privacy is still a huge factor affecting the decisions of Facebook users, but there are other issues being faced by the company. Their recent endeavor to take on fake news campaigns has been viewed by many users as a flop. Online comments relating to the efforts show annoyed Facebookers facing regular daily videos and stories which come back as spam or hoaxes later.
Several stories in circulation speak to Facebook itself, promising users that if they repost a story they’ll have a broader view of friends’ newsfeeds. Others suggest that users can block Facebook from seeing or sharing their data by posting certain messages on their newsfeeds. This is just a small example of the fake information in circulation. There are also posts that include fill news stories relating to world events, which include fake information and are strategic marketing ploys.
Fake Account Problems
Much of the fake news circulating the net comes from fake accounts created solely to share marketing information. Facebook is privy to the number of fakers on their site and have made an effort in previous years to reduce these numbers. COO, S. Sandberg has explained that up to 4% of Facebook accounts were fake before they started tackling them this past year.
One of the ways Facebook has tackled the fake account concept is by restricting users from changing names too often. Once you change a name on your Facebook account, it can’t be changed again for 60 days. This allows users to update marital names or return to maiden names but urges users to maintain names with relevance to real life.
Users who change names too often, or appear to be using names under false pretenses, for example, celebrity names, are removed. Some accounts are also asked to provide proof of identity in the form of an I.D. card or other form of government issued identification,
Facebook’s Loss is Their Gain
With Facebook hemorrhaging users, social media lovers are flocking to other forms of sharing and chatting, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Of course, due to Facebook’s ownership of the Instagram platform, they can rest assured that their users aren’t straying too far. During the recent outage of both Facebook and Instagram, however, the company did see some movement as users shifted to Twitter, which was still working normally. Users could be seen tweeting their sorrows that they were unable to share photos and updates with friends and family.
Does Twitters show of solidarity and dependability sway loyal Facebookers to let go of their favored social media methods? So far it doesn’t appear that way, as the movement from Facebook doesn’t seem to coincide with any growth from competitor sites.
How Facebook Will Bounce Back
As usual, Facebook has already taken measures to appeal to its users, implementing new and exciting ways to use the site with friends, such as its soon to launch movie streaming service. The movie streaming will be shared between users from anywhere in the world, allowing neighbors or distant cousins to connect over the magic of film.
While Facebook hasn’t announced any other new apps or services, there’s no telling what the company has up its sleeve to battle its latest bout of user loss. With billions in the bank and billions more spilling in all the time, it doesn’t appear that this social media giant will be going anywhere anytime soon. Users who favor the site can relax and enjoy.