Reasons for Facebook's Historic Decline in Users, Share Value

NBC Universal, Inc.

Thursday was historic for Facebook, but not in a good way.

For the first time, the social media giant showed a decline in users, meaning it lost more share value than at any other time in its history -- $200 billion in stock market value.

"Young people especially have found a lot less joy on Facebook and Instagram," said Rebecca Jennings.

Perhaps most damaging, as Jennings, who covers internet culture for Vox said, is the flight of young people away from Facebook and Instagram, and onto rival TikTok, which is growing at hyper speed.

Facebook's response, the so-called Metaverse, is not quite ready, and not quite cool.

"I don't think young people are waiting with baited breath to get on a headset and join the Metaverse, I think, because that vision of what the Metaverse is came from people like Mark Zuckerberg, who is not a cool person,” said Jennings.

Then there's the backlash. Sites like Facebook, and music streamer Spotify, are coming under attack for spreading misinformation -- also a target for young people.

"The irony is that when this app started it was for college students, and now most college students do not use the app,” said Matt Cabot, social media professor at San Jose State University.

But, some tech-watchers said that they're both big enough to spend their way to the next level.

"People have a very short memory,” said Cabot. “So, the crisis today will not be the crisis tomorrow. If you weather this crisis, chances are you can continue."  

Both Facebook and Spotify have apologized for spreading misinformation. Both saw their market value plunge recently and both insisted they’ll bounce back and continue to grow.

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