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Facebook users are spending less time on the site

Mark Zuckerberg has made it his goal to "fix" Facebook. Now his fixes may be causing new problems for the stock....

Posted: Feb 1, 2018 9:38 AM
Updated: Feb 1, 2018 9:38 AM

Mark Zuckerberg has made it his goal to "fix" Facebook. Now his fixes may be causing new problems for the stock.

Facebook's CEO told investors Wednesday that tweaks made to the content it shows users has led to a notable drop in the amount of time users spend on the social network.

"In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day," Zuckerberg said in a statement with the company's fourth quarter earnings report.

The decline is said to come from a decision to show fewer viral videos in the News Feed.

Facebook also reported its first-ever decline in daily users in the U.S. and Canada. It had 184 million daily users in this region in the quarter, down from 185 million in the prior quarter.

The stock fell 5% in after-hours trading following the report, a rare decline for a company that consistently outpaces Wall Street's estimates.

Facebook has rattled investors in recent months with a series of announcements in response the platform's role in enabling fake news, filter bubbles and foreign meddling in the U.S. election.

Related: Mark Zuckerberg is fighting to save Facebook

This month, Facebook announced plans to show users more content from friends in the News Feed and less from brands and publishers in an effort to boost the well-being of users. In particular, Zuckerberg targeted videos and articles that users consume passively, without commenting or sharing.

Zuckerberg previously said the change could lead to a drop in user engagement and time spent on the platform, but would ultimately improve the quality of the user experience.

The move raised concerns among investors about the impact on Facebook's core advertising business. For now, Facebook continues to be an ad sales juggernaut.

Sales hit nearly $13 billion for the quarter, an increase of 47% from the same period a year earlier. The company now has 2.13 billion monthly active users and 1.4 billion daily users, and advertisers are eager to reach that massive audience.

Earlier this month, Zuckerberg said his personal goal for 2018 is "fixing" Facebook's many problems. He cited the need to "protect our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states" and "making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent."

In November, he said the company is "investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability." That investment includes doubling the number of people who work on safety and security to 20,000.

The announcement came on the same day that executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter testified before Congressional hearings into how Russian actors used social media to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 61125

Reported Deaths: 1711
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5269106
DeSoto332627
Madison229756
Harrison215232
Rankin214628
Jackson199434
Jones177457
Forrest164053
Washington149232
Lauderdale132988
Lee123930
Neshoba119788
Lamar112112
Oktibbeha105435
Lowndes98932
Warren96427
Scott95517
Bolivar94832
Copiah91724
Panola91211
Sunflower90822
Lafayette88111
Holmes84747
Leflore84059
Pike83232
Grenada81320
Yazoo78611
Leake76825
Lincoln74540
Pontotoc7377
Wayne73321
Simpson71227
Monroe70250
Coahoma66310
Tate65023
Marion60118
Covington58811
Adams58425
Marshall5718
Winston57115
George5475
Union53113
Newton51611
Attala49824
Tallahatchie49310
Pearl River48536
Walthall45318
Chickasaw43819
Noxubee41910
Claiborne40013
Smith38013
Calhoun3788
Jasper3768
Clay37013
Alcorn3574
Prentiss3426
Hancock33614
Tishomingo3204
Lawrence3135
Tippah31212
Yalobusha31210
Itawamba30710
Clarke30025
Montgomery2933
Tunica2786
Humphreys27111
Carroll24511
Greene22611
Quitman2251
Kemper22315
Perry2227
Amite2105
Jefferson Davis2026
Webster19912
Jefferson1936
Wilkinson18712
Sharkey1801
Stone1523
Choctaw1274
Benton1250
Franklin1162
Issaquena211
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 90890

Reported Deaths: 1611
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson11859225
Mobile9086191
Montgomery6249143
Madison501425
Tuscaloosa397463
Baldwin321023
Shelby305032
Marshall296630
Unassigned273453
Lee250540
Morgan222315
Etowah193026
DeKalb170113
Elmore160237
Calhoun15609
Walker147063
Houston131912
Dallas128823
Russell12331
St. Clair121712
Franklin119620
Limestone119613
Cullman114111
Colbert109312
Lauderdale107112
Autauga102420
Escambia97915
Talladega91813
Jackson8283
Chambers82138
Tallapoosa81478
Dale78520
Butler75235
Blount7363
Chilton7106
Coffee7095
Covington70920
Pike6607
Barbour5635
Lowndes55224
Marion54224
Marengo52014
Clarke4869
Hale45926
Bullock43811
Perry4294
Winston42911
Wilcox4059
Monroe3914
Randolph38810
Bibb3743
Conecuh37310
Pickens3679
Sumter36118
Lawrence3100
Washington31011
Macon30913
Crenshaw2863
Choctaw27412
Henry2453
Cherokee2427
Greene24211
Geneva2320
Clay2175
Lamar1982
Fayette1745
Cleburne1211
Coosa922
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