Like California, Facebook is losing people. Wonder why

Facebook is going the way of California.  It's losing people.

The news for the social media behemoth was grim.

According to CNBC:

  • Facebook earnings came in below expectations for the fourth quarter, and the company said numerous challenges are ahead in the first quarter.
  • Inflation, supply chain disruptions at advertisers and users shifting to products that "monetize at lower rates" are among the key issues the company faces.
  • Revenue in the first quarter will be between $27 billion and $29 billion, while analysts were looking for that number to top $30 billion.

Facebook shares tumbled more than 20% in extended trading on Wednesday after the company reported disappointing earnings, gave weak guidance and said user growth has stagnated.

For the schadenfreude-minded, it's expected to take the largest one-day loss in all U.S. corporate history, with some $200 billion likely to be wiped off the company's valuation in the course of trading today.

Heckuva job, Markie.

And yes, the key data point is that they are losing people:

  • Daily Active Users (DAUs): 1.93 billion vs 1.95 billion expected by analysts, according to StreetAccount
  • Monthly Active Users (MAUs): 2.91 billion vs 2.95 billion expected by analysts, according to StreetAccount

That's more than a million users, which marks the first time the company's user base has ever contracted.  Like California, more people are leaving than coming.  No new people, no new earnings growth.

Facebook's pals in Big Tech are going down, too.  Seems no one is all-powerful anymore.

The company, and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, blamed everyone but themselves for the company's bad news.  Zuckerberg said it was the allure of TikTok, the Chinese spyware company that serves as a forum for lunatic left-wingery, and its apparently addictive quality to teenagers.  Other Facebook execs blamed those bastards at Apple, who instituted a revised iOS privacy policy that prevents Facebook from harvesting users' data without their express consent.  Some analysts blamed the astroturf "whistleblower" featured on 60 Minutes and in testimony to Congress that Facebook knew that its Instagram app was bad for teenagers' self-esteem, which was old news when it came out.  All of this could be at least partially true.

Other reasons might carry some water, too — that the company has grown as big as it can grow globally; that the users want something new, meaning Facebook is becoming the new MySpace; and that Facebook has built two huge new headquarters of "perfection," which, according to Parkinson's Law of Buildings, is a sign of an entity in decline.

The elephant in the room of these analyses, though, is the same one that's driving people out of California: that customers are disgusted with Facebook's politicized behavior.

Get woke, go broke.  It applies even to the big boys.

In Facebook's case, that behavior has taken on approximately three pernicious forms.

One, the data-harvesting, and data-mining on users, in order to "nudge" and influence them.  Plenty of people don't like that even for commercial purposes, but the fact that Facebook moved in a political direction is especially obnoxious.  Facebook has hired lots of Democrat party operatives, presumably to lobby Washington, but just as likely to manipulate Facebook's users into voting "Democrat" through the miracle of algorithms.  Facebook, see, knows you better than you know yourself, based on all its data-harvesting.  That doesn't sit well with many users, and as word gets out about it, some users are packing up.

Two, the censors.  Facebook has gone hog-wild censoring conservatives as well as anyone skeptical of government wisdom on COVID lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and therapeutics.  They've shut down critics, and skeptics, often by using actual Chinese communist censors, as well as colluded with their supposed rivals in some amazing trust activity — for instance, to shut down the social media accounts of a president of the United States.  Facebook did that right after the crazies at Twitter did it.  They've since shut down Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, again, working in tandem with supposed rival Twiter.  How this isn't the mother of all trust-busting cases for Congress is a mystery, except that it isn't.  Social media behemoths donate generously to leftists and lapdog Republicans in Congress to ensure that things go their way.  So the censorship continues, and everyone who gets censored gets labeled a crackpot.  That even includes some respected doctors, such as Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of the mRNA vaccine.  What's more, there are the meddlesome cautionary notices and warnings, all targeted at conservatives and their ideas, done with amazing caprice.  Does that make users want to sign on?  The short answer is no.

Three, Facebook has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into something well beyond social media — into election mechanisms themselves under the cover of "fair elections" and "civil society."  In reality, it was a questionably legal seeding of Facebook cash and operatives into vote-counting offices in a bid to manipulate voting to get Democrats elected.  Some, such as Federalist editor Mollie Hemingway, who wrote a book about this, believe that this activity is what swung the election to Joe Biden in 2020.  Many states have since cracked down on these "Zuckerbucks" in our vote-counting offices, but the damage has been done.  Yes, there are users who wanted out from the whole Facebook racket after that one.

As for Zuckerberg, we hope he's happy with the election he bought for himself.  The economy is in the tank, the customers are ravaged by inflation, the ad revenue is down, and now Facebook's stock is feeling it in the big downwind.  Proud of yourself, Mark?  Maybe you shouldn't have bought that election, because not only do your customers have less cash to spend for your advertisers, but they hate you for doing it. 

Sometimes, heads get too big at the lofty heights of tech.  Hubris is a sorry thing.  We all know what happened to Icarus, Mark.  He had a hairdo like yours.

Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art via Picryl, CC0 public domain.

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