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Silicon Valley

People are spending less time on Facebook—and Zuck says that’s okay

February 1, 2018

The metrics are headed in a different direction from the usual, but the social network claims that’s all part of a plan to make Facebook a better place.

The news: We collectively spent 50 million fewer hours per day on Facebook in the fourth quarter of 2017 than the third, which translates to about a 2.4 minutes per day less per user. The number of daily active users in North America also fell for the first time ever.

By design: Zuck says this was expected as the firm builds out a more “meaningful” news feed. He points to a clampdown on viral videos as the main driver of the change. The news will cheer some Facebook critics, who believe the network is too addictive

Unstoppable? Despite the downturn, Facebook still posted record revenue growth.

But: Many lapsed users are reporting that Facebook is clamoring more desperately than ever to get them back. So it may not all be going to plan.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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