For the first time ever, Facebook has lost daily users globally, reporting lower-than-expected ad growth that sent its stock plunging nearly 20 percent. The massive stock drop instantly wiped out roughly $200 billion in its market value.
The Meta-owned Facebook platform registered 1.929 billion daily users in the fourth quarter of 2021, down from 1.93 billion in the previous quarter.
The company confirmed late on Wednesday that it is the first sequential decline in its history.
Facebook's monthly active users (MAUs) were 2.91 billion as of 31 December 2021, an increase of just 4 percent year-over-year.
$40 Billion Profit, Mostly From Ads
Meta still made nearly $40 billion in profit in 2021, mostly from advertising.
"We had a solid quarter as people turned to our products to stay connected and businesses continued to use our services to grow," said Mark Zuckerberg, Meta founder and CEO.
"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," he added.
The company's family of apps (FoA) include Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and other services.
The user growth slowdown came in the same period when the company, formerly known as Facebook, announced that it would rebrand as a "metaverse" company.
(Published in an arrangement with IANS.)