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What Dented Facebook’s Global Users?

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Facebook’s sluggish user growth

On October 30, Facebook (FB) delivered a sluggish user growth rate in its third-quarter results before the trading bell. Facebook’s weak user growth had a negative impact on the top-line growth in the quarter. The company’s revenues and global daily users lagged behind analysts’ expectations in the third quarter.

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Facebook’s DAUs

Facebook’s reached 1.49 billion DAUs (daily active users) in the second quarter but missed analysts’ expectations of 1.51 billion daily users. Facebook’s DAUs increased 9% YoY (year-over-year) in the third quarter. On a sequential basis, the DAUs witnessed slower growth of ~1.4% in the first and second quarter. The daily user growth came from India (INDA), Indonesia, and the Philippines. However, the daily user growth remained soft in North America and Europe.

Snap’s (SNAP) Snapchat also posted sluggish DAUs of 186 million in the third quarter, which declined from 188 million DAUs in the second quarter. However, the DAUs have risen 5% YoY from 178 million DAUs.

Facebook’s MAUs

Facebook had nearly 2.27 billion MAUs (monthly active users) at the end of the third quarter. The MAUs grew 1.8% sequentially and have increased more than 9% YoY. Facebook’s platforms like Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp have each gained over 1 billion monthly users. In comparison, Twitter (TWTR) reported its biggest sequential decline in MAUs to 326 million in the third quarter—down from 335 million in the second quarter. However, Twitter’s MAUs have risen YoY from 330 million MAUs in the third quarter of 2017.

Facebook’s MAUs reached 242 million in North America—up by 1 million from the second quarter. However, Facebook’s MAUs declined by 1 million to 375 million in Europe in the third quarter. The fall reflects the enactment of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) law in the European Union. The GDPR law was enforced to give users more control over their online data. In the Asia-Pacific region, the MAUs increased from 894 million in the second quarter to 917 million. In the rest of the world, the MAUs grew from 723 million in the second quarter to 736 million in the third quarter.

About 2.6 billion people use at least one of Facebook’s apps including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger each month—up by ~100 million from the previous quarter. On a conference call, Facebook stated that ~2 billion users use one of the apps each day.

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