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Facebook posts first-ever drop in daily active users

David Murphy

Facebook has recorded the first-ever drop in daily active users (DAUs) in its 18-year history. In its Q4 and full year 2021 results published yesterday, Facebook parent company Meta said that DAUs fell to 1.929bn in the three months to the end of December, compared to 1.930bn in the previous quarter, a decline of 1 million in case anyone needs help with the maths.

In an earnings call, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg singled out TikTok as a contributing factor, saying: "The thing that is somewhat unique here is that TikTok is so big a competitor already and also continues to grow at quite a fast rate."

He also said that the company had suffered from had been hit by privacy changes on Apple's operating system, in the shape of the App Tracking Transparency framework introduced with the launch of iOS 14.5.

Q4 revenues came in at $33.67bn (£24.79), 20 per cent up on Q4 2020. Revenues for the whole of 2021 came in at $117.93bn, a 37 per cent increase on 2020. Virtually all of this ($114.9bn) came from advertising.

Overall, Zuckerberg remained predictably upbeat. “We had a solid quarter as people turned to our products to stay connected and businesses continued to use our services to grow," he said. "I'm encouraged by the progress we made this past year in a number of important growth areas like Reels, commerce, and virtual reality, and we'll continue investing in these and other key priorities in 2022 as we work towards building the metaverse.”