Kimberly Adams of Marketplace interviewed Larry Rosin of Edison Research:
Kimberly Adams: In your survey you found an estimated drop of 15 million fewer Facebook users in the U.S. today than in 2017. That’s just in the U.S. Is this a meaningful drop for Facebook?
Larry Rosin: I don’t see how you couldn’t say it’s a meaningful drop. Fifteen million is a lot of people, no matter which way you cut it. It represents about 6 percent of the total U.S. population ages 12 and older. What makes it particularly important is if it is part of a trend. This is the second straight year we’ve seen this number go down. Obviously, the U.S. is the biggest market, in terms of dollars, and it’s going to be a super important market for Facebook or anybody who’s playing in this game.
Rosin: We only show trace numbers of people leaving social media altogether. They’re obviously just transferring their usage. The big gainer, interestingly, is under the same roof as Facebook. It’s their co-owned Instagram.
Facebook has insidiously covered themselves for any eventuality. They acquired Whatsapp and Instagram to ensure that ostensibly alternative choices are still Facebook’s, while in developing nations they’ve locked users into the platform, where the company is virtually synonymous with the internet as a whole.