What is Causing the Fall in Facebook User Numbers?

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>> Saturday, May 4, 2013

It had to happen at some point, but few could have predicted that Facebook’s fall from grace in terms of user numbers would be so spectacular.  Of course, some analysts have been predicting the eventual fall of Facebook for the last year, ever since Facebook became a publicly traded company in May of last year.

Damaging Numbers
Independent research from the respected Social Bakers organization, publicized today, indicated that Facebook are losing millions of users a month in their core United States and United Kingdom markets.

In the last month alone, 6million fewer people visited the site in the U.S. with the UK figure coming in at a shortfall of 1.4million, a lower number but a larger percentage of the overall user base. It is easy to pass off these numbers as small considering that Facebook is still growing in other countries, but the fact remains that in the markets where they have most interests, they are quickly falling out of favor.
No one is yet proclaiming that the site is set to ‘do a MySpace’ and become almost obsolete, but there is definite cause for concern. What is driving people away from Facebook?
Too Many Social Networks
At some point, people were going to start using other social networks, especially given how many there are in existence. The worry for Facebook might be that users are flocking quickly to rivals such as Twitter and the up and coming Path social network, rather than seeing users leave because of a general saturation of social media.
Rumors Surrounding Pay Walls
The cat is already out of the bag when it comes to costs attached to messaging ‘non-friends,’ but there are continuously rumors swirling around in cyberspace that Facebook are increasingly looking for ways to monetize their users.
It is only natural for a business to do that, especially one with shareholders to answer to. However, the famous homepage promise of “It’s free and it always will be” might come back to haunt the site if Facebook turns into what is essentially a ‘freemium’ website with a healthy proportion of features behind pay walls.
Everyone Already Has It
A more positive outlook to take with Facebook is that we are today in the year 2013. Anyone who has access to the internet, and wants to have a Facebook account, will have one by now. Where else was there to go but down?
People have been leaving Facebook for years, but the continuous flood of people joining somewhat masked this. Now that the flood has stopped, the focus needs to change from attracting new users to retaining and not alienating the ones they have.
Facebook Graph Search
There is great irony in the manner that new initiatives can drive people away. 2013 has already seen Facebook lose users on account of their usage of users’ photographs, but the big hit has perhaps been the new Graph Search tool. Go to any forum online where this is being discussed, and you are almost certain to find people who have turned their back on Facebook due to Graph Search being perceived as a further intrusion into privacy.
It might be great for businesses and targeted marketing purposes, but consumers are voting with their feet, or their fingers!
Facebook’s Future
While it will take a huge shift in attitudes to see Facebook fall completely off the radar, the latest analysis is not great. What is perhaps most telling is that the company themselves are renowned for being ahead of the game, but as yet have declined to comment on the Social Bakers analysis.
Facebook will definitely have a future in the increasingly connected world, but it might be playing a different role from the one they occupy today.
This article is written by Jaguar PC providing managed VPS hosting with affordable web-hosting plans along with moneyback guarantee.

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