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Facebook Still Growing But Losing Users In Countries It Was First Established

     
10:42 am on Jun 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Facebook Still Growing But Losing Users In Countries It Was First Established
[businessinsider.com]

Something strange is going on: Facebook is losing customers.

Lots of customers. According to Inside Facebook's data service, Facebook lost 6 million users in the U.S. last month, dropping from 155.2 million to 149.4 million. That's the first time U.S. numbers have dropped in more than a year.

It also lost 1.52 million users in Canada, dropping to 16.6 million -- that's an 8% drop -- and 100,000 each in the U.K., Norway, and Russia.

Total Facebook users were still up 1.7% thanks to growth in countries where the service got popular later, like Mexico and Brazil.
12:38 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Wow, this article left out a HUGE issue affecting membership.

The Economy.

Do you know how many people no longer have internet access do this economy? I am sure it will be worse by 2012 the way the current admin is running things.
12:51 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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..many people no longer have internet access do this economy...


Just imagine the amount of people, less on FB that is, when the economy gets better that would go back to work instead of FBeing(sounds like Bing)...

i Do Not Have an account and never will. i block FB beacon at firewall level. FB sends me emails that my Aunty in Ukraine might be my Aunty. i Delete all incomming from FB. Period.
1:49 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Social media set to end when people stop wanting to tell people what they're up to, show off a little, find out what others are doing, and share jokes and info etc in general.

Interesting to see comments vs social media on a forum relying on user generated content.
2:38 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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to the old guys respectively sociopaths: you needn't turn every thread about facebook into a "why i'm not on facebook and will never be" matter. we understand that you are not willing to participate in the so-called social web. that's perfectly okay. no need to self-assure you time and time again that you are right in your decision. however, obviously hundreds of millions of people don't exactly share your feelings. deal with it. i had the same reservations some time ago and still have. in marketing theory, we are just called "laggards".

back on topic: what news is that? anyone still believes in those user numbers? as we say over here: "never believe a stat you haven't faked yourself". that said, isn't this trend perfectly expectable? facebook is near its peak. time for the early investors to rip off the general public now and make cash for the last time by pulling the ipo through.

i'm afraid to tell you that facebook isn't a fad. they are here to stay at least for the next few years still. unlike former networks they got the critical mass locked in many demographic groups. blame it on the heavy free promotion every fool is doing for them.

what we need is a non-commercial alternative with traction.
3:53 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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> Do you know how many people no longer have internet access do this economy?

Anyone got stats? - FWIW - I think there's something in this...
6:11 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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149 Million is still not much compared to the 6.92 billion people on the planet, most people in the developing world still do not have access to a computer (more mobile phones than toilets in some countries.)

I do still know a few people who won't use anything more complicated than a mobile phone and will refuse to even get an email address.

For a lot of couples I have found it is either one or the other who is on Facebook and keeps up to date with their friends.

I have stopped using the Events tab to check for upcoming events as there are just too many now. Due to what I do in my spare time I have a lot of people I only "sort of" know, who expect me to know them when I see them.

I do go out 100+ times a year to see and photograph live music and it has has helped with that at least.
6:12 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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May be the fact is true. Still, there are so many fb users today promoting businesses in fb.
9:37 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Where do Inside Facebook's numbers actually come from? The nature of Facebook would seem to make it impossible for a third party metrics service to do anything but guess.

Don't get me wrong I can think of a lot of ways that you could educate your guess (scraping public profiles, maintaining multiple large networks of FB friends/likes, using other 3rd party traffic numbers, running ad campaigns in order to grab demographic data, maintaining popular apps to mine user's data, etc...).

But ultimately it's still a guess, and one they have an interest in exaggerating for PR purposes.
9:44 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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You hit the nail on the head. That's precisely why i no longer regularly use it. As soon as my parents and grand parents joined, i knew facebook was dead
...

...in western europe at least there are more parents and grand parents than "cool kids" online, so if Facebook ends up being a tool for grown ups without teenage brats, all the better...

...i wouldnt count on Facebook dying yet, although they have to be careful, downfall can be just as quick as rising (see myspace)
10:25 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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In Spain teenagers are all into Tuenti because you need an invite to log in.

For me Facebook is just another place to show my content (like mail lists, Google or Twitter) altough I have a profile to show my face to the users of my sites. It's a professional profile; there's no photos of me out of the job or from my family or friends.

I have no interest in Facebook as personal tool but now and in the next years it will be an interesting river to be fished.
10:36 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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to the old guys respectively sociopaths: you needn't turn every thread about facebook into a "why i'm not on facebook and will never be" matter. we understand that you are not willing to participate in the so-called social web. that's perfectly okay. no need to self-assure you time and time again that you are right in your decision. however, obviously hundreds of millions of people don't exactly share your feelings. deal with it. i had the same reservations some time ago and still have. in marketing theory, we are just called "laggards".

The old guys aren't on their because they're laggards. They're not on their because most people arenn't making money. It has nothing to do with liking it, or whether people are using it, or whether it's going to last. In it's current format, it's useless for making money in most industries.

Having seen some of these things comes and go allows one some perspective that I don't jump in just because it's new and everyone else is doing it. I stop first and ask "does it make me money?".

If yo can't show me the money, I'm decidedly disinterested. And since I'm spending my own money, getting a return back matters. You'll notice your post talks nothing about anyone making money on facebook. Which speaks to the point that much of facebook's appeal is simply marketing hysteria and people not spending their own money.
11:00 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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This thread is an interesting one to watch.

You can see the generation disconnect and outright hostility to something new -- social media.

It will never work, you can't make money on it, I will never join.

I am sure those who clinged to telegraph were saying the same thing about that new social media invention -- the telephone.

For those who remember when email came out, you saw the same thing. People frightened by something new, said they would never use email.

Now just yesterday, there was an article about whether or not websites would even still exist in the future, something surely to wake the Adsense zombies.

So what does that mean for the future of the website?

"In a few year's time there won't be such a thing as a website," claimed Boulton (the Web Archiving Team Lead from the Library of Congress). "With the rise of the social Web, now online experiences are built around the individual rather than around the organization."

So whereas websites are "destinations that you go to to find information," according to Boulton, the current era is increasingly about information coming to the individual - who interacts with it on devices like smartphones.


[nytimes.com...]
11:20 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"In a few year's time there won't be such a thing as a website,"


I'd put this quote beside the other ones about the 640Kb of memory is enough and about there's no place in the world for more than ten or twelve computers.

[edited by: Lexur at 11:22 am (utc) on Jun 14, 2011]

11:20 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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whether or not websites would even still exist in the future


I agree that some people have a distaste for social media, fair enough... but can't see websites 'not existing'. People still need search engines and search engines still need website creators to make content, content structure and link structure for their algorithms to work on the scale that it has done over the past 15 years.
11:21 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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MySpace. Atrociously designed pages stuffed with pictures, videos and music that typically starts on its own.

Millions of people created their own pages on MySpace. What was the appeal? Not quite sure, but they reached critical mass, real people you know were using it and it was growing on its own. Then one fine day, the party was over and MySpace crumbled into semi-nothingness (thanks God, what an eye sore). It still exists, but who would create a MySpace page now?

What caused MySpace to crumble? I have read many theories, but the bottom line is that they managed to piss off their users (I gather their advertising deal with Google and the cheap tactics had a lot to do with that). They grew arrogant and decided that they could do whatever they pleased. And they were wrong.

Is Facebook going the way of MySpace? Facebook is the opposite of MySpace in many ways. You can't f*** a Facebook page, and a Facebook page always looks just like another Facebook page. There is no design issue to speak off, it just works. Videos will always show the same way, pictures are in a proper lightbox...It's hardly what anyone would call pretty, but it works. The apps infrastructure is great and obviously the gaming platform it developed really took off.

But they are starting to piss off their customers nevertheless and they don't seem to give a broken html tag about what the users think. Users want more privacy? The official answer is F*** Off. The users want better control on who sees what? Same answer. Ads? ...

FML stories (stories of people complaining about the mundane tragedies of their daily lives), Facebook is in the spotlight nearly every day: "Someone said I was a bitch and all of my friends 'liked' it, including my mom" or "My boss wrote on Facebook that I should not bother to go back to work."

A major failure of Facebook, IMO, is that there is no way to really break down your online personae in different, separated groups. In real life, you have different types of contacts which you interact with in very different ways and each has a very different access level to your personal life. You don't deal with your parents the same way as you deal with your friends or with your boss or with your work colleagues or... and even within these groups, you discriminate: You don't talk with your dad the same way you talk with your mom.

But on Facebook, all the people you know pretty much have the same access by default, and as Facebook gains widespread adoption, the friction between the real life model and the Facebook model increases. We are starting to get stories about people getting fired or sued over Facebook posts. Relationship break ups on Facebook are pretty common (now your boss, your coworkers and your mom know that your girl slept with your "best friend"). Without going to these extremes, the end result is that people become more and more careful with what goes on Facebook, resulting in boring banalities and generic, sanitized, interactions, and eventually, people are going to look for other places to interact with each other and Facebook will be dead.

Unless there is a major change in the way Facebook works, my uneducated guess is that it will take a dive within the next 3 years.
11:57 am on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Facebook Denies Losing Users [bbc.co.uk]
Facebook has denied that it is losing customers, saying it is "pleased" with growth.

Figures from Faceboook monitoring site Inside Facebook suggested that during May, Facebook lost six million users in the US and 100,000 in the UK.

But the social network, which does not usually comment on third party statistics, questioned how it arrived at this figure.

Other net measurement firms said they had seen growth over the same period.

"From time to time, we see stories about Facebook losing users in some regions. Some of these reports use data extracted from our advertising tool, which provides broad estimates on the reach of Facebook ads and isn't designed to be a source for tracking the overall growth of Facebook," the firm said in a statement.

"We are very pleased with our growth and with the way people are engaged with Facebook. More than 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day," it added.



Interesting, this must have gotten to them.
12:34 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"More than 50% of our active users log on"

Jeez, wow, so what % of all users are active? 0.1%?

Amazing to think to try such a bald-faced statistic.
12:37 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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FB felt compelled to send me an email yesterday nagging about the fact that I had not been on FB for the past 3 days. And did I know that 4 of my friends had changed their status in the last 24 hours? Thanks for that FB.
1:38 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"More than 50% of our active users log on"

Jeez, wow, so what % of all users are active? 0.1%?

Amazing to think to try such a bald-faced statistic.


HA! That cracked me up. I'm changing the verbiage on my site immediately. Theirs is much better.
2:16 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I see the IPO has just been announced. Perhaps the facebook guys are reading this thread ........
5:06 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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They should have planned the IPO for when the movie was released. That was their high-water mark in the public consciousness and would have gained them the most.
6:10 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"More than 50% of our active users log on"

Jeez, wow, so what % of all users are active? 0.1%?

Amazing to think to try such a bald-faced statistic.


The sentence doesn't end there: It says "any given day". In other words, 50% of the users considered active are logged in every day.

What this means is that the people considered active (no statement as to how many that is or how they are measured) are really active and visit the site every 2 days on average. Assuming that the definition of "active user" is somewhat rational, it's a pretty impressive stat, albeit not surprising.
7:52 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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.in western europe at least there are more parents and grand parents than "cool kids" online, so if Facebook ends up being a tool for grown ups without teenage brats, all the better...


Im far from a teenager :) And facebook was not for teenagers either. It was for young adults in college. When i joined you had to have a college/university email address. High school wasn't allowed.

Its dead or dying in the sense of what it was originally created for. Its morphed into something different (good or bad). While it still technically does what it was originally designed for...outside factors have now limited it for a lot of people.
8:15 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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What this means is that the people considered active (no statement as to how many that is or how they are measured) are really active and visit the site every 2 days on average.


that might not be as good as it sounds. what about all those bazillions of 'like' buttons that are all over the web -- in iframes? if a user visits a site with one of those on, then presumably that would count as a visit to facebook too, even though they'd been nowhere near the place.
and the same thing with all those comment boxes that people paste all over the place
9:09 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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This is not good news, now people looking for a story will look at their stats each month, until their IPO
4:13 am on June 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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What this means is that the people considered active (no statement as to how many that is or how they are measured) are really active and visit the site every 2 days on average. Assuming that the definition of "active user" is somewhat rational, it's a pretty impressive stat, albeit not surprising.

What it means is that 50% of active users are in fact active.

Hey wow.

Without knowing what they mean by active, it's totally worthless. And regardless, you can probably say precisely the same thing about any site with membership.

~

Looks like this has got to Zuckerberg:
[bbc.co.uk...]
5:41 am on June 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The only reason I am still using FB is that fact that Google is 'allegedly' using them (and Twitter) as a ranking factor. Google will eventually acquire both.

For many, visiting FB is like reading the obituaries, it's just our morbid curiosity to see who is still alive. I see a handful of regular (pathetic) posters and the rest are lurkers.
6:02 am on June 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The "sky is falling" reports are inaccurate... suspect source counts when there are others that might provide better info... but I have no doubt that FB is losing some members as it gains new because the rampant self-promotion (as has been hinted here in this thread) has increased the already obnoxious s/n ratio on FB. FB is not going to die... after all, it is a better medium than Twitter for getting a message AND PICS out... a step between a twit and a full-blown website. Or, as some are prone to say: "Another Tool In The Toolbox"...

And because of that some folks who don't like playing in a toolbox are voting with their feet.

But not as many as "the sky is falling, the sky is falling!"
8:32 am on June 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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An IPO is often a sign that the founders know that the high growth phase is coming to an end, so this is when they will get the best price.
5:14 pm on June 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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so many friends of mine on FB are marketers, pumping their wares.

can't say i blame them, everything says be social to find success.

but holy cow, log into FB, i yearn for boring, introverted friends.
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