Facebook fatigue or just uninventive news content?
I meant to write a post in response to this Decline In Users Hints At ‘Facebook Fatigue’ article from Sky News, published on Yahoo on June 14th, sooner but I was on holiday. I had no data connection, so I did some real world things like being taken for my stag do (no doubt pictures soon to appear on Facebook) and taking the little fella to the beach, instead of having my face stuffed in my mobile.
The point I wanted to raise about this article, and similar knee-jerk ‘news’ content that gets spewed out, is that sections of the press seem to be constantly looking for an anti-Facebook story. Don’t get me wrong, Facebook doesn’t need me sticking up for it, and there are plenty of negative points that you could raise about them. But if you’re going to do this effectively, at least get the calculator out and apply some forethought before you start predicting the beginning of the end for the world’s leading social networking site.
The article is based on the fact that Facebook recently lost 100,000 UK accounts. This equates to only 0.3% of the 30m UK accounts in existance. I doubt that this minor drop off is keeping Mr Zuckerberg awake at night. I’m sure instead he will be thinking about the fact that, according to Checkfacebook.com, their 30m users equate to 67% of UK internet users. Also remember that this is account numbers we’re talking about. The 0.3% will be dead wood, accounts that are not being used. The other 99.7% of UK accounts are using Facebook as their main platform to share content they have created themselves and content they come across online.
Here are some other Facebook facts that indicate that the world is some way from suffering from a severe case of ‘Facebook fatigue’:
- Facebook has over 500 million active (and active is the key word here) users worldwide, Facebook.com
- 30 billion pieces of content are shared through Facebook each month, Facebook.com
- 1 out of every 6 pages views in the UK are attributed to Facebook – twice the number of Google, Experian Hitwise
There will be a saturation point at which growth slows to a stop, but they have prolonged their life span by embedding themselves on near enough every website with like/share buttons – 250 million people engage with Facebook every month on external websites. They’ll be ok for a while yet. With this article, could it be that Sky and Mr Murdoch were trying to avert people’s attention from the fact that he had to sell ‘social networking fall from grace case study’ MySpace for 10% of what he paid for it this week?
Facebook will continue to grow in 2011 and I personally think that their next step will be into the online voucher market, to counter the proposed merger between online coupon provider Groupon and location-based social networking site Foursquare. I also think they will look to improve their photo and video upload service within the next year, as the existing interface leaves a lot to be desired.
Have you found yourself using Facebook less recently, or do you even use it at all? Add comments below or tweet to @OnlineAStevens.