Is Facebook Dying?

by ryank

I recently realized that Facebook is dying. I then sought out statistics which proved that Facebook is dying. Goodbye Facebook.

Today I realised something, people are using Facebook less. I think I actually first realized this a few months ago, but today it really hit me. I have almost 400 'friends' on fb and yet it can go for as long as half an hour without any activity showing from any of them, my wife stopped uploaded pictures to Facebook a long time ago, and the list of people showing online for me is never more than twenty or twenty five. A year ago this would have been unimaginable, it seemed as if people couldn't stop giving a running commentary of their day at work, every meal, even informing the world when they took a dump. I seldom see an album of photos these days, yet alone a nice dump status.

Facebook Dead? Not Quite Yet

Obviously my sample of 400 people, mostly from the United Kingdom, on a site with well over half a billion registered members worldwide can't be taken as conclusive evidence of a Myspaceesque demise, so I went on the search for further information. It turns out that I'm not the first people to notice, in fact there is some pretty damning evidence out there to suggest that Facebook has indeed peaked - at least it has in the developed world. According to various analysed advertising statistics, Facebook is said to have lost 5% of US users in May 2011 alone, equivalent to 6 million users and estimated to have resulted in the number of American users falling from 155 million to 149 million. During the same month it also lost a significant number of users from the following countries:

  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Norway
Is Facebook Dying?
Is Facebook Dying?

The overall user base was still fast increasing at that stage, gaining tens of millions of new users from developing nations such as Brazil, India, and Mexico. The most valuable advertising markets are shrinking, revenues from developing nations such as India remain a pittance when compared to advertising rates for traffic from the US, UK, and Canada. Despite there being less American users, Quantcast estimate that the number of unique visits from US based surfers has continued to rise, suggesting that the remaining users have actually been using the site more, see the graph below.

Facebook Dying
Facebook Dying

The graph shows the growth of Facebook (gray) in relation to the growth of YouTube (blue) and Twitter (red), the two giants have flat-lined over the past year whilst Twitter has continued to grow at an incredibly fast pace.

Why Are People Leaving Facebook?

There are a number of common reasons that US, UK, and Canadian users have given for deactivating or deleting their Facebook accounts, but the most significant ones are ongoing privacy concerns and pure boredom. People got bored of Myspace, people got bored of Friendster, and now people are getting bored of Facebook. It's just a natural cycle but it won't fill the markets with much confident when Facebook complete a stock market launch, the IPO is scheduled for April 2012, employees will be worried that their stock options are not going mature at their peak. The likelihood is of course that the markets will actually go into a frenzy, as they always do with major tech stocks, and the price will become over-inflated rather than in any way deflated by these statistics.

Updated: on 08/02/2012, ryank
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frankbeswick 1 day ago

I have not used my account in years. No need.

Jack Yan 1 day ago

My Facebook has basically become a substitute for my old Digg feed. I occasionally share articles on it. And we all know what happened to Digg. Also, the amount of bugs it has—I can go for days without being able to comment or like—is extremely off-putting. (A read of is sobering.) Spambots and spammers have taken over the site and have more rights than we do as legitimate users—and in some cases, Facebook protects them even after they have been reported, all the whole deleting legitimate accounts over some spurious excuse. One day I found 277 bots—yet Facebook limits your reporting to 40–50 a day before throwing up warning messages or blocking you from making further reports. I really think that Facebook has some trouble with older accounts because of the way data have been saved, which is why we cannot see our photos or some older statuses. The number of worldwide outages appears to be on the increase as well. So, technically, it is dying, too.

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