Mark Zuckerberg, the 33-year old tech billionaire, who created Facebook 13 years ago, never could have predicted that a New York real estate developer and TV personality, would have such a dramatic impact on his business. I am a frequent user on Facebook. I can attest that the social media platform can be a war zone when people start discussing Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States.
It gets so rough at times that people leave Facebook for weeks or months. They just don’t want to see folks, who they considered good friends for many years, make certain remarks with which they vehemently disagree. Facebook can be a totally exasperating experience. You log in to wish someone a happy birthday, and you end up in a heated debate with another person over a Trump remark or policy.
Meanwhile Wall Street is blaming the fact that users are spending less time on Facebook because they are “consuming information rather than interacting with their friends and family members online.” Zuckerberg now promises that Facebook users will see more posts from family and friends and fewer from businesses and publishers. “Facebook is prioritizing news articles that it determines are trustworthy, informative and local, with the help of users.”
Trying to defend the amount of time users spend on Facebook, Zuckerberg also said, “So let me be clear: Helping people connect is more important than maximizing time they spend on Facebook.” It was reported that the company reduced time spent on its social media platform by roughly 50 million hours every day, or 5 percent, in the final quarter of 2017.
Facebook has 2.13 billion monthly active users worldwide, an increase of 14 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. However, the tech firm saw its daily active users in the United States and Canada drop from 185 million to 184 million from the third to fourth quarter.
I researched a lot of stories to see if Zuckerberg ever admitted that the current administration could be having a negative impact on his creation. The closest I got was this Zuckerberg statement: “2017 was also a hard year. The world feels anxious and divided and that’s played out on Facebook.”
I guess that’s a start.