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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.
11:15 am on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Facebook is commercializing a little too heavily, even if not entirely of it's own doing. Every business and blog seems to have a facebook like button, facebook fan page and/or facebook comment plugin. Having a close circle of friends on Facebook used to be fun but constant bombardment with unsolicited material, combined with privacy concerns, is having an impact imo.

You connect with family to keep in touch, you don't ask strangers to tell you things you don't want to know. The later is happening anyway.
11:24 am on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yes, Sarge, you observe correctly, imho.

I've always thought that FB it is a great idea to keep in touch with friends and family around the globe. When you have a free service I don't think anyone minds the service being ad supported.

For me, I don't care if FB had 500 million or 700 million users. If you're a marketing organization, you probably do care.

Perhaps people are getting tired of keeping up and liking everything.
11:28 am on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I know a fair number of people in the U.K. that have disabled their accounts because they felt they were wasting too much time on Facebook. That and the concerns already mentioned, I can see why their head count has dropped.
11:31 am on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The numbers are very surprising.

I know of a small movement of people deciding to stop using it but its tiny in comparison and most come back within a year.

Thats my experience too, I quit for about 6 months, rejoined sorted all the settings/privacy/email notifications out and its not hasssling me at all anymore!

I wonder if they are removing unused accounts? that would explain these numbers
11:48 am on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I remember that here in the UK, before the Internet was established, we all had a craze for CB radio. Everybody had one. We kept in touch with each other, met new friends, even met up for large social events with thousands of attendees, via our radios. Within a few years it died completely (well before facebook became an alternative)and now I wouldn't even know where to buy one.

There is a lesson here <G>
11:57 am on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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wow, that hits their ad revenues I'm sure. I know from my own campaigns on FB that clicks from turkey, indonesia and russia cost about a quarter of the price of US/UK clicks. Losing 6 million "prime beef" US users is bad news for FB if they were real, live accounts.
12:40 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I can't get rid of Facebook because it's the best way to find someone if I need to contact them, or them to me.

The rest of Facebook is trash though. Privacy issues. Pointless dribble from the same people dominating the news feed. Like buttons all over the web. I now avoid taking pictures at gatherings because I don't want myself uploaded to the internet everywhere I go.

Facebook is losing me. If a good alternative would come along, that's all it would take.
12:47 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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never was a member, but i think many members does also close there accounts be cause of Privacy and the aggressive way of introducing all kind of tools, when they come to facebook, like the latest with the images, they just switch it on without asking, reminds me a little of google.
1:23 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Heh, zeus, you're spot on. I used FB briefly some years ago, but dropped it (not just deactivated, but "hard dropped") after one of their first privacy flaps. For me, it was just plain boring.

At least, on Twitter, I can get a number of interesting quick news snippets (including @webmasterworld). For me, Twitter is a good "aggregator" of sorts. And fewer privacy flaps, AFAIK.
1:49 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I stripped all my info about a year ago, but kept the account for experimenting with web development features and to occasionally check on my teenager's online socializing.

On the rare occasion I do login to FB - I am always very quick to browse then log out as I find it very annoying when I forget to log out and see my info appear on another site that uses Facebook connect.

Zuckerberg is a scary dude in terms of his willingness to take liberty with people's personal data and his total lack of respect for user's personal privacy concerns.

Another factor in dropped accounts may be the loss of "coolness" it had when it was primarily teens and college students -- many of them DON'T want to see their parents or other 40-50+ year old relatives on FB -- or more likely don't want those relatives to see aspects of their private lives they divulge to "friends" on FB.
3:02 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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How exactly do they define a "user"? If you have an active account, but never log on and actively participate, are you still counted as a user?
3:02 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Lexi, I think what you are saying about the "cool" factor is spot on, kids don't want their aunts and uncle's friending them, and I saw something just the other month that supports what you are saying.

There is a Facebook competitor that started in the city where I live and it does quite well, it is called Nexopia.

I was bowling with the family a few months ago and I saw a teenaged girl wearing a T-shirt that said.

"Nexopia, cuz your mom's on Facebook"
3:04 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I thought it was a fad from the beginning and still do. Seems I am being proven right. I think it will start to lose customers in its newest countries, too, and in a couple of years be passe. Same with Twitter. And I am glad. Too much social networking in everything and too much loss of privacy.
4:39 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Facebook lost 6 million users in the U.S. last month, dropping from 155.2 million to 149.4 million

149.4 users? That's about half the total US population.

Those kind of numbers lack any credibility.

If they were talking about "accounts" vs "users", maybe, but 149.4 MILLION USA USERS, I don't think so.

A couple numbers from the 2000 US Census [census.gov].

• 72.3 million, or 26 percent of the U.S. population, were under age 18;

• 174.1 million, or 62 percent, were age 18 to 64; and

• 35.0 million, or 12 percent, were age 65 and over.

Looking at the linked census page it looks like about 40 million Americans are under 10. I wonder how many of them have Facebook accounts.
5:09 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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ken, the other consideration is how many of those FB accounts are "active" and what is the definition of "active". Just from a twitter perspective:

[businessinsider.com...]

Also, over 50 million twitter accounts follow nobody, which IMHO, is the best definition of a dead account.
5:32 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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FB is already losing the youth. They’re leaving because it is no longer cool. FB is going to be around for a long while. What’s next? Where is the next wave? As a web marketer, I love that I can narrowcast with FB. If I need to promote to teachers in Maine who live with 30 miles of Kennebunkport, they’re the only game in town. I hope that the next big wave has the same targeting ability. +1 on Google’s +1 because it might enable the ability to narrowcast.
5:38 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I see about 40% of people staying on FB and 60% dropping it because it is a waste of time and a passing trend. The only ones staying will be the pathetic losers who make constant insipid posts about their dog or cat or the weather or where they are going on vacation (telegraphing that fact to any would be robbers) or about how much they miss this deceased parents, grandparents etc. Of that 40%, 5% will still be posting for attention while the other 35% are lurkers. My account has been closed for quite some time. It's certainly a service I can live without.
5:55 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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May has 31 days, April has 30, so you would see a drop. But it still doesn't account for the total decrease.

I for one hope to see this trend continue, I am about as sick of facebook and twitter as one can be. I don't need 1-2 sites dominating all traffic on the internet.
6:14 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@ddogg - EXACTLY! This whole "social media" madness is out of control and overblown.
6:41 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The Internet, in theory, is a many-to-many communication tool. Since its inception it quickly rose to become a fast and inexpensive means of content creation and distribution. Although it is labeled a many-to-many medium, this is not exactly true. Think about it. Some one person or again a collection is behind creating the content. If it is a blog, tweet or video-blog then it is more of a broadcast medium or one-to-many medium then even radio or television as one individual is solely creating the content for distribution. With social media, it is now possible for a few like-minded people to gather around like-minded ideas or content and share like-minded comments or entertainment-akin perhaps to sitting around a cozy and comfortable campfire in the old West (well, that’s a stretch). The communication is one-to-one as well as one-to many. Like it or not, the NEW web is the readability and write-ability of the Internet - an interactive Internet that provides 24/7 ability to share, store, produce, network, communicate, collaborate, and learn – wired or not. Much of the dialog is stupid. Some is not – thinking of the Arab Spring. I’m afraid that the era (characterized by a long and distinct period of history with a particular feature or characteristic) of social is here to stay. @ddogg, us old Internet people need to get used to a social web. Embrace it or we’ll get left in the dust.

[edited by: DirigoDev at 6:59 pm (utc) on Jun 13, 2011]

6:52 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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OMG, the 'friends'' 15 minutes is up. They thought they'd become rock stars by letting everyone know of their wisdom, now it's wearing off :)
6:57 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Seems like a good time to sell to Google.
8:02 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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In my opinion facebook would be better off in the longterm if they would charge a monthly fee, and scrap advertising and all the tampering with privacy for monetization. Or at least offer a "private version" for a monthly fee.

"Connect to your friends and maintain your pricacy at the same time for only 5$/month."
8:08 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"Connect to your friends and maintain your pricacy at the same time for only 5$/month."


Facebook wouldn't last a week after that.
8:23 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Look at Linkdin's stock chart...reminds me of the Grand Canyon. FB can keep their IPO.
(Click the the 3 month chart)
[marketwatch.com...]
8:41 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Another factor in dropped accounts may be the loss of "coolness" it had when it was primarily teens and college students -- many of them DON'T want to see their parents or other 40-50+ year old relatives on FB -- or more likely don't want those relatives to see aspects of their private lives they divulge to "friends" on FB.


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.

I still have an account just so can reconnect and have a contact with some old friends.
8:47 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I suspect part of it is that a lot of people, especially the youth market that dominates FB, are starting to realize that living in a FishBowl sucks.

Being a "Rock Star" can be fun for a while, but sooner or later, you take the Rock Star hit of infamy. It just takes one person to post that embarrassing photo from the beach or "that epic party at Fred's" and all of the sudden, your little circle of fame isn't so much fun anymore.

Youth don't inherently understand privacy. They experience it viscerally.
8:51 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Wow, too many active comments against fb now (because it becomes a major competition) ?

I was unaware about what facebook is till few XX months back ! but noone supported when i critcized about same :) on my comments..

But today when it grew into a competition, which fairly is everyone hates the same..


Note: Not arguing with any comments above..
10:19 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Do the traffic stats support the idea of actually losing visitors?

I know that a lot of businesses created profiles instead of business pages and if those businesses switch to a business page does this indicate a lost user?
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