Don’t worry about Yuan Universe for now! Abandoned by young people, how difficult is Facebook’s situation? | TechNews

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Facebook has been turbulent recently. The latest report for the third quarter of 2021 was mixed. Profits were better than market expectations. After-hours trading on the 25th rose by more than 2%. However, revenue and monthly active users (MAU) were not as expected.

Net profit growth increased by 17% year-on-year to US$9.19 billion (approximately NT$255.8 billion); revenue increased by 35% to US$29.01 billion (approximately NT$807.4 billion); the number of monthly active users increased by 6% annually to 2.91 billion. But there are 20 million fewer people than originally predicted.

Crisis, the loss of young users

“CNN” reported that Facebook is facing its biggest crisis since its founding 17 years ago.

“CNN” has formed a coalition with 16 other news organizations to publish a series of “Facebook Papers” (The Facebook Papers) investigation reports, including the legal counsel of the whistleblower (Frances Haugen) to provide congressional and U.S. Securities Regulatory Commission (SEC) ) Edited content.

A series of serious problems include “Facebook knows that Instagram is harmful to young women, causing them to have self-inflicted thoughts”, “discriminatory treatment of high-profile users”, “regardless of democracy and only making money”, etc. This time it also exposed “uncontrollable”. Manage and properly translate the hate speech of international users”, “inciting violence to promote religious conflict in India”, and even “reducing into a Middle Eastern maid’s trading platform” and so on.

In addition, the report also revealed a major survival crisis for Facebook, that is, “a significant drop in the number of young users.” Although this has always been a challenge, the report pointed out that the company did not provide transparent information to investors and advertisers, only showing overall growth, but excluding details of the slowdown in key demographics, distorting core indicators, and misleading shareholders.

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“Bloomberg” reported that Facebook user growth and participation are the biggest selling points and the main driving force behind the 74% rise in the stock price in the past two years. Haugen said that Facebook was worried that this would threaten the attractiveness of advertising, which is the reason for not confessing. “The valuation of Facebook’s stock price is almost based on forecasts for future advertising growth,” she wrote to the US Securities Regulatory Commission.

The technology media “The Verge” pointed out that since 2019, the number of young users (18-29 years old) and teenagers using Facebook in the United States has fallen by 2% and 13%, respectively. It is expected that the decline will increase to 4 in 2 years (2023). %~45%. And the younger the user, the lower the frequency of use. The number of messages sent, the number of messages sent, and the time used are all decreasing.

What is even more surprising is that although the number of monthly active users of Facebook increased by 6% in the third quarter, the Wall Street Journal questioned, do you really know how many users there are? Does it exaggerate the number of people touched by the ad? This is because “Single User Multiple Accounts” (SUMA) actually turns a blind eye internally and is very common. It is currently estimated that 11% of global monthly active users are duplicate accounts, but after Facebook checked about 5,000 newly registered accounts this spring, it found that up to 32% to 56% were opened by existing users. The actual ratio may be underestimated.

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Zuckerberg: Let young people become the “Polaris” of the company

“The Verge” reported that losing young users represents alienating young people, cutting off the connection with future generations, and restricting business growth. “Bloomberg” pointed out that Facebook has relied on Instagram for the past 10 years to attract young people and overcome the weakness of aging users. The goal is to wait for them to grow up and start using the main Facebook platform. However, the total user base of Instagram’s main market has also become saturated.

Mark Zuckerberg (Mark Zuckerberg) announced that the two major development cores in the future, in addition to the creation of the “Facebook Reality Labs” (FRL) that integrates the AR and VR R&D departments, to build a metaverse (metaverse), and Some are re-adjusting the company, not choosing to optimize services for a larger and older user base, but to make serving young people the company’s “Polaris”, which means the company’s priority goal.

In addition, the intensified competition in social software centered on young people is also the reason why he is willing to abandon the older age groups and save young people. Data in May of this year showed that the growth rate of Facebook users of the 16-24 year old group was slower than that of TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit and other communities.

Zuckerberg said that he plans to make major updates to Facebook and Instagram next year and will pay more attention to videos, and his own short video and audio Reels service will also become the core of the user experience. Other changes may include: launching a job search function for users aged 20 to 30, requiring users to regularly update their dating network, adjusting the news feed algorithm so that users can see unrelated content of untracked accounts, and Facebook is testing a new version of Groups+. To enhance user cultural relevance and so on.

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Even “The Verge” speculates that Facebook plans to change the name of Metaverse, possibly to attract more young people. However, a series of problems broke out, but it seemed that there was no need to stop to improve, but instead to plan the next step without stopping. “CNN” made Facebook sour: “Don’t change your name, just change to the CEO!”

(Author: Qiu Yunzhen; This article is reprinted with authorization from Business Weekly; Source of the first image: Unsplash)


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