Zuckerberg said that people spent "roughly 50 million hours" per day less on Facebook last quarter. But those News feed changes weren't yet in effect in Q4, when the 50 million-hour daily decrease took place. "Local news helps us understand the issues that matter in our communities and affect our lives", Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a social media post. Now it has to work to preemptively disarm any future privacy crises or other scandals, and co-opt the "Time Well Spent" rallying call before it becomes a "Time to leave Facebook" movement. "In 2018, we're focused on making sure Facebook isn't just fun to use, but also good for people's wellbeing and for society".
Facebook's monthly user count is now at 2.13 billion, up 3.39% from 2.06 billion in Q3 compared to 3.19% growth that quarter, so the monthly user growth sped up even as daily user growth slowed.
The update to the news feed is rolling out only to the US for now, but Facebook said it will expand the changes to other countries later this year.
Facebook said it had 1.4 billion daily active users in the quarter, slightly missing a 1.41 billion average estimate from three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
He said the company was doing this by "encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content".
In the third quarter, Facebook grew its ad sales by 47 percent to about $10 billion compared to the same period a year ago.
The beat wasn't enough to satiate Wall Street, however, with shares of Facebook falling more than 4 percent after hours to below $180 a share.
The earnings results caps off a tumultuous year for Facebook. Our goal is to show more news that connects people to their local communities, and we look forward to improving and expanding these efforts this year.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said users are spending less time on the social network every day.
"With this update, we will also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people", said the head of News Feed Adam Mosseri in a statement.
Despite worries about Russian Federation and that passive News Feed scrolling hurts us, Facebook beat expectations again in its Q4 2017 earnings report.