Born with a mission to connect people, but it turns out that Facebook makes users lonelier

Born with a mission to connect people, but it turns out that Facebook makes users lonelier


2022-03-05 14:47:25

From the very beginning, Meta (aka Facebook) has been on a mission to help connect people through its social networking applications. From Facebook, the company also acquired other potential competitors including WhatsApp, Instagram, making itself the company that owns the largest social networking platforms in the world.

But now, an internal study by the company itself shows that its apps that connect people are making users feel lonelier. As the company struggles to attract new users, making sure its users are happier is key to Meta’s financial success.

This internal document revealed by former Meta product manager Frances Haugen shows that, as of September 2018, the company’s internal research found that one-third of Facebook users reported feeling emotional lonely in the past. In-depth interviews with 53 people showed that the feeling of loneliness is most common among young people, aged between 13 and 24 – this is the same audience that Meta is targeting for Facebook and Instagram applications.

The researchers concede that social media platforms owned by Meta may exacerbate feelings of loneliness, rather than alleviate it. Another internal study conducted in November 2018 also found that certain Facebook experiences increase loneliness – like “seeing negative or hurtful posts”, or seeing friends having fun without you, or posts that lead to comparisons on social media.

Although using Facebook makes users “less alone” with certain other activities, like using Twitter or dating apps, it still increases loneliness more than other activities like playing games or watching videos. TELEVISION.

However, when lonely people turned to Facebook, 41% of them said they felt better, and only 6% of them said they felt worse. But 42% of those surveyed said they felt both more and less lonely.

Born with a mission to connect people, but it turns out that Facebook makes users lonelier - Photo 2.

Research shows that Facebook has a different impact on users from country to country

A key takeaway from Meta’s internal research is app usage time:”People who spend about an hour a day often feel the least lonely. People who spend less or more time often feel more lonely.” Some outside studies also support this finding by Facebook. Young people have similar time to the above finding.seem to have the highest levels of happiness and connection and the least loneliness,” said Melissa Hunt, associate director of the Department of Clinical Training Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

The conflicting results show how difficult it is to create a product that can benefit Facebook users, as well as Meta company.

Learning about loneliness is becoming more and more important for Meta. During the earnings call on February 2, the company said the bad news, for the first time in years, the number of Facebook users stopped growing and even decreased in some markets. Company stock lost ¼ of its value the next day.

Born with a mission to connect people, but it turns out that Facebook makes users lonelier - Photo 3.

A few years ago, when Facebook held an internal contest to develop new product ideas, a small group of its employees got together to build a robot named Max, shaped like a small bowl. upside down. Max is designed to be able to chat with users based on their mood. However, this project has never been taken out of the company’s competition framework.

Another similar project is a chatbot for WhatsApp. If someone tells this chatbot that they are lonely, they will receive a comforting response like: “We’re sorry to hear you’re feeling lonely. There’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about being alone – nearly everyone has experienced loneliness at some point in their lives..”

Besides building new technologies, another approach Facebook is taking is building a community with more engaging content. For example, Instagram is increasing its investment in creators and influencers on its app.

Not only helping to reach customers better, these studies also help Meta avoid legal problems. The company has recently faced intense scrutiny from regulators, who argue that Meta is making vulnerable people dependent on its products, while giving them valuable content. adverse effects on mental health.

Refer to Bloomberg chn

#Born #mission #connect #people #turns #Facebook #users #lonelier

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *