The cynic in me has never believed that Meta has been honest about the number of active users on its platform, daily usage, user engagement, etc.
First, I’ve previously quoted the Pew Research survey below (first chart). My personal experience with young people in my family reflects the Pew survey data represented in the chart below – especially as it relates to YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat. Not exactly bullish commentary.
Second, I’m highly skeptical that Meta is purging anything close to the actual number of fake accounts on its platform. Investors are supposed to believe that as Facebook user growth has slowed, the amount of Facebook fake accounts has slowed even more?
- Facebook took action on 2.2 billion fake accounts between January – March 2019, but only took action on 426 million fake accounts between January – March 2023 (Charts 2 and 3). Investors are supposed to believe that Facebook had 5x the number of fake accounts in 2019 as it does today? Sorry, I am not buying that pitch. There are more bots, more spam and more deepfakes in circulation than ever. Facebook is not immune to this fakery.
- What if 1 or 2 billion of Meta’s reported users in the March quarter were in fact fake Facebook accounts? (Meta only reports on fake Facebook accounts that were removed, not on Instagram).
- Read more about Meta’s fake account problem at Meta’s Transparency Center – HERE.