The leak of Facebook’s internal documents is Exhibit A for those who would indict the social-media giant as the modern equivalent of a greedy railroad monopoly. But as the Biden administration’s antitrust zealots celebrate finding evidence of predatory algorithms, they overlook an inconvenient revelation from the documents: Facebook is a social-media geriatric losing ground to its competitors.
According to the documents, Facebook is alarmed by how fast its pipeline of new users is drying up. The use of the Facebook app by young adults is expected to drop 4% in the next two years, and a 45% decline among teens. What about Facebook-owned Instagram? Doesn’t that app bring in the young users, while older people use Facebook? It turns out Instagram is showing its age as well, as teens migrate in large numbers to TikTok and Snapchat.