Facebook Apps Can Make People Lonelier, Internal Research Says

Meta Platforms Inc FB, which aimed to help people connect online, has discovered through internal research that its products can just as quickly have an isolating effect, Bloomberg reports.

According to its internal research, photo memories can spark feelings of connection for some and sadness for others. 

A study from September 2018 based on whistleblower Frances Haugen's documents found that ~36% of Facebook users reported feeling lonely in the past month. The study found loneliness was most common with young people, age 13 to 24, a critical demographic that Meta targeted for both Facebook and Instagram.

Meta had promoted its role as a digital connector as people resorted to social media apps as alternatives to in-person experiences during the pandemic.

A study from November 2018 found that seeing "negative posts or hurtful comments," seeing friends having fun without you, or seeing posts that lead to social comparisons increased loneliness.

Facebook made people feel "less lonely" than some other activities, like Twitter Inc TWTR or dating apps, but it increased loneliness more than video games and TV.

On February 2, Facebook reported that its user base stopped growing and shrank in some markets for the first time. Facebook's shares lost more than a quarter of their value the next day. Meta wants to address the problem but is short of a solution. 

Price Action: FB shares traded higher by 1.80% at $207.15 on the last check Wednesday.

Photo by Anemone123 from Pixabay

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