Facebook’s daily active users decline for a second quarter in the United States and Canada, caused by user fatigue and growing competition.
Despite robust topline numbers, Facebook’s fourth-quarter earnings show a significant slow in growth and a second in a row decline for DAUs in its main markets.
Facebook has a problem. Not one that will impact its business in the short term, but a growing concern for its future. During the fourth-quarter Facebook reported $28.07 billion of revenue. But while its global user base continued to grow, with 1.84 billion daily active users worldwide, there are serious signs of user fatigue in some of its core markets, the United States and Canada, where daily active users dropped from 196 million in the third quarter to 195 million in the fourth quarter.
It might not sound like much, but this marks the second quarter in a row with a DAU decline in the North American region.
The social media giant countered the loss with growth in the rest of the world, led by Europe who saw its daily active users grow to 308 million from 305 million.
In a statement, eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson said the decline could be a reflection of increased competition from newer, shinier social platforms such as TikTok. “Facebook didn’t experience similar weakness in DAUs in other regions, which indicates that users in the US and Canada are starting to move their social time and engagement elsewhere,” she said. “One logical destination is TikTok, which has grown rapidly in 2020 and has some of the strongest user engagement, in terms of time spent, among all the social platforms we follow.”
User fatigue has been a recurring factor for Facebook. The platform is seen as stagnant, with no real innovation brought to users in the last few years. Add ot this an organic reach that continues to be annihilated, and many users, and brands, are now considering leaving the platform for good.