Facebook growth declines

File: Social media giant Facebook has seen slower-than-expected growth in daily users between October and December. Photo: Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/

JOHANNESBURG – The world’s largest social media platform Facebook has seen slower-than-expected growth in daily users in the last quarter of 2017.

The company said the drop in numbers recorded between October and December was due to attempts to reduce the amount of violent videos and fake news on the site.

Statistics showed users spent about 50 million fewer hours per day on the platform.

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The social media giant’s shares fell four percent in after-hour trade.

But there was a quick recovery when executives said, while on a conference call, that they saw more chances to make money, even if people spent less time on the network.

“I want to be clear: The most important driver of our business has never been time spent by itself. It’s the quality of the conversations and connections,” Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on the call.

Revenue, meanwhile, shot up 47 percent from a year earlier.

*Additional reporting by Reuters

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