Are We Slowly Witnessing The Death Of Facebook?
Few would argue with the assertion that Facebook is of the past decade’s most significant inventions. It has quite simply changed us, from how we interact with one another, to the frequencies of how much we use a camera. From status updates, to photo albums with over fifty pictures, there is no doubt that Facebook has altered the nature of our day to day lives. However, there is reason, as well as ample evidence, to suggest that the use of Facebook may steadily be on the decline; that we are slowly witnessing the death of Facebook.
Facebook launched in 2004 and has since gone on to claim just under a billion users. This doesn’t necessarily mean the same amount of people use Facebook; as a member may have more than one profile, plus there is also a strong difference between one having a profile and them being an active user. Furthermore, with it being somewhat near impossible to actually go off the Facebook record (the most you can do is deactivate your account, which will still be stored and kept on record for you to rejoin at whim), it is unknown whether the large numbers of deactivated accounts are counted as users.
Nevertheless, we can safely assume that there are hundreds upon hundreds of millions of active Facebook users, and that this figure is still growing. This doesn’t quite sound like a business that’s slowly dying out, however, the percentage of monthly growth has been waning slowly. In August 2008, it was some 178 percent, while in September last year it was approximately 3.7 percent and now it stands at just 1.74 percent. Meanwhile, according to a Facebook infographic, by ComScore, the number of Facebook’s unique visitors has declined from 158.69 (in April) to 158.01 (in May).
However, this could be simply due to the fact that Facebook has grown to such an extent that there are significantly less potential followers than there was four years ago or even last year. Thus a reduced level of growth is no means of indicating any decline in Facebook users.
Nevertheless, Facebook’s stock price has dipped by almost 50 percent, from approximately £24 on the 18th of May 2012 to a value of £12 on the 18th of August at the IPO.
Furthermore, in the realm of advertising, it emerged in March that Facebook’s total revenue was – although just over £1 billion – down 6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. This was despite a steady increase in monthly active users.
Moreover, in January 2011, it became clear that Facebook slipped 1.3 percentage points towards the end of 2010, despite having a 58.5pc share of the UK’s social networking market.
What could possibly just be happening is a levelling out of Facebook’s market growth and lead. This could simply be the reason why its growth seems to be declining. One could also however, point to the success and growths of competitors such as Google Plus and more significantly Twitter, which continues to increase in popularity rapidly.
Of course, what comes up must come down, and all this may then be an indication of the fact that Facebook’s popularity is actually slowly declining.
Marcus Wright is a British SEO and blogger.