In the last quarter of 2017, Facebook reported that daily active users in the US and Canada fell by about 1 million people—the first such decline in the company’s history. At the time that drop looked ominous—the region is by far Facebook’s most lucrative market. But the social network’s executives said that they didn’t see this as a “continuing trend.”
They were right. Facebook reported April 25 that the numbers bounced back in the first quarter, from 184 million Americans and Canadians logging on to Facebook daily to 185 million, a record the company first reached earlier in 2017.
The development is somewhat unexpected, given the backlash Facebook experienced following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The #deleteFacebook movement had many declaring they were off the platform for good. Few expected an exodus of epic proportions, but an increase in users is a bit surprising.
Perhaps Facebook is more untouchable than we thought. But the Facebook dissent could also come at a delay, with people taking time to absorb the news and making the undoubtedly difficult decision to leave the platform. User growth overall is slowing for the platform, suggesting that we might be reaching some level of Facebook saturation. We’ll just have to wait and see things unfold in the upcoming quarters.