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It's not just you, survey finds people are spending less time on Facebook

Apparently, it's a result of Facebook moving to discourage "passive consumption" of stuff like videos.

Graphic by Pixabay/Illustration by CNET

One key thing about Facebook in the beginning was that people spent a lot of time on the service. And with endless streams of friend's photos, viral videos and news articles there just begging to be clicked on, liked and shared, it's no wonder.

But a new survey found that the average amount of time an adult in the US spent on the service dropped last year, even if just a little. 

The average US adult spent 38 minutes on Facebook each day last year, according to industry watcher eMarketer, a drop of three minutes from the 41 minutes counted in 2017. That's quite a bit considering there are only 24 hours in a day, and between Game of Thrones and work, we have precious little of it left. 

But don't cry too much for Facebook and its membership of more than 2.38 billion monthly users. Its cool and hip corporate sibling, Instagram, gained attention during the same period. It averaged 22 minutes in 2016, 25 minutes in 2017 and 26 minutes last year.

What drove the drop for Facebook isn't clear. Analysts at eMarketer guessed that Facebook's push to "downrank," or effectively hide clickbait posts and videos, may have had something to do with it. Facebook has also included new tools in its app to help people track how much time they spend on the service, something Apple's done for iPhone and iPad users, as has Google for devices powered by its Android software.

Facebook declined to comment.

First published May 28 at 3:32 p.m. PT.
Update, 5 p.m. PT: Adds Facebook no comment.

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