In Facebook’s July 2015 earnings call, Zuckerberg highlighted one of the social network’s more vivid metrics for success, noting that the average user spends 46 minutes per day on Facebook—”and that doesn’t include WhatsApp.” Presumably, it does include Messenger and possibly Instagram, two of the most prominent mobile offshoots of the main Facebook app.
“We continue to get one out of every five minutes of smartphone usage in the U.S,” said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, emphasizing the role of video engagement, which Facebook continues to eye hungrily. In other words, Facebook use accounts for 20 percent of total time spent on smartphones in the U.S.—an almost unfathomably large chunk of time considering the range of activity possible on a mobile device.
As Facebook growth levels off, the company’s unsettlingly high level of engagement keeps users bouncing around its network, driving ad revenue straight into the pockets of its partners.
Zuckerberg touted Facebook’s engineering focus, which yielded notable improvements in Facebook’s mobile app load times, for its famously addictive user experience. Beyond the News Feed, 450 million people use Events on Facebook on a monthly basis, while 850 million connect through Facebook Groups.
A whopping 65 percent of the platform’s monthly users are active daily—whatever we’re there for, on Facebook, we just can’t stop going back for more.
Illustration by Max Fleishman