People are spending less time on Facebook since crackdown on ‘fake news’

El director general de Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, durante el discurso de inauguración de la conferencia de desarrolladores F8, el martes 30 de abril de 2019 en San José, California. (AP Foto/Tony Avelar )
Facebook has focused on private messaging (AP Foto/Tony Avelar )

Facebook’s crackdown on misleading and divisive content - including ‘fake news’ - may have put people off the site, researchers believe.

Mark Zuckerberg’s effort to take control of divisive and hateful content, including a shift towards posts from family and friends, have led to a drop in the amount of time users spend on the site.

Facebook altered its algorithm to prioritise posts from family over shared news links - but the move has coincided with a drop in the time people spend on the social network.

Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer said, ‘Facebook's continued loss of younger adult users, along with its focus on down-ranking clickbait posts and videos in favour of those that create "time well spent," resulted in less daily time spent on the platform in 2018 than we had previously expected.

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'Less time spent on Facebook translates into fewer chances for marketers to reach the network's users.'

By contrast, Facebook’s own Instagram is seeing daily engagement creep up, with eMarketer expecting daily engagement to rise by one minute this year to 27 minutes.

Williamson said, 'Features like Stories, influencer content and video are all contributing to more engagement and a slow but steady uptick in time spent on Instagram.’