First, leaked documents reveal the company has struggled since 2012-13 to attract young users. Engagement is a vital metric for the company and teenagers are a crucial target segment for advertisers. People below 25 are spending less time on the platform, and fewer teenagers in developed countries are signing up. This is a major headache for Zuck & Co.
Haugen alleges that Facebook “has misrepresented core metrics to investors and advertisers,” and that duplicate accounts are leading to “extensive fraud” against advertisers.
Second, the barrage of negative headlines has affected its ability to recruit top talent. “Facebook is extremely thinly staffed…and this is because there are a lot of technologists that look at what Facebook has done, and their unwillingness to accept responsibility, and people just aren’t willing to work here,” Haugen said at a briefing. Facebook’s future growth depends on its ability to attract top talent.
As more findings emerge from the Facebook Papers, expect calls to legislate regulation for the company. The clamour for Zuckerberg to step aside will only grow louder. Those investing in this Frankenstein must speak up.
(Sushovan Sircar is an independent journalist who reports on technology and cyber policy developments. His reports explore stories at the intersection of internet and society, covering issues of privacy, surveillance, cybersecurity, India’s data regime, social media and emerging technologies. He tweets @Maha_Shoonya. This is an opinion piece, and the views expressed are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)