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Facebook Traffic Declines – Abandon Ship or Deja Vu?



We have good news for Om Malik. The new media guru is a little concerned about Facebook’s recent decline in traffic.

I just got the spread sheet and there seems to be a 9.3% decline in their unique visitors from 33.75 million in August 2007 to 30.6 million in September 2007…Why would that happen to both Facebook ahead of back-to-school season? It just doesn?t make any sense! Unless of course, the unthinkable is happening.

Here’s Malik’s chart…

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Scary, huh?

But fear not Om! The same thing happened last year and Facebook went on to recover quite nicely.

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  • http://feeds.feedburner.com/personalbrandingblog Dan Schawbel

    I wonder what the logic is behind it though. Wouldn’t there be less of a transition period when people can start using facebook in high school?

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Dan – I would imagine that many users just get busy prepping for “back to school”

  • webanalytics

    People talk about the Sept. dips. They should be talking about the Aug. peaks. It’s a social community with highest activity among college-age users. The summer is for social young people.

  • http://www.wpromote.com/blog Mike Mothner

    I am also very confused by this decline in traffic right as school began. However, one possible explanation is that with all of the stress and activities associated with starting school, there might be a brief decline in overall internet use until students are once again settled into their routines. It will be interesting to see how quickly Facebook recovers from this slight decline.

  • http://www.undergroundattraction.com ScottUA

    You would think that numbers go UP as college/high school aged kids start to reconnect with friends they didn’t talk to all summer.

  • http://blog.blogcosm.com/ Scott Lawton (Blogcosm)

    Good catch! It’s nice to see someone provide some perspective.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @ScottUA – they rebounded last year for that same reason.

  • http://www.thevanblog.com Steven Bradley

    Scott I would think now that they’re first back in school they’d spend a little more time connecting in person. Once the routine for the year is established it’s back to connecting online.

    August might also be a time of connecting to ask questions like what day are you heading back up to school or what are you bringing and what do I need to bring. I’d go all summer sometimes without talking to my roommate and then the week or two before going back to school we’d talk a few times to prepare for going back. This could be something like that.

  • http://www.97thfloor.com/blog Matt Siltala

    All I know is my Facebook Flyer impressions AND clicks have dropped drastically! Its a sad decline to see happen to such an awesome social platform.

  • http://www.christineandharrison.com Harrison

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the uptime problems they have been experiencing with the launch of the new platform. Many days of traffic have been compromised due to platform scalability or slowdown issues.

  • http://www.watersubject.com Water Portal

    something is wrong with this data, I have been using facebook for a year now, and back then there were few of my friends from the university on facebook, but now its like everyone moved to facebook this summer, now classes have started and I see students keep talking excited about facebook and how they discovered their classmates from their secondary school and other stuff.

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  • http://www.u-g-h.com Owen Cutajar

    It’s a bit like the housing market. You’ll get the occasional flutter when things appear to dip, but in the long run, the trend is always upwards …

  • duhmoment

    I don’t really agree with some of these arguments… what kids are so affected during back to school that they don’t have to sign on even once during an entire month?

    I do think that back to school may have created bias in the comScore panel – perhaps more students using it from labs or new computers that are not being monitored??

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  • http://www.ybov.com Carlos Park

    I’m just starting to think the spark is wearing off… to me it’s just a fad that will be gone sooner than later. If it’s true that Zuckerberg (spelling) had an offer of $2billion I would of taken it and start a new project.

    thanks

  • http://www.angeladuncan.wordpress.com Angela Duncan

    Why are they comparing anything to photobucket or wikipedia? People use Flickr, not photobucket. And wikipedia is not a social networking site.

    People are getting tired of terribly-designed myspace pages, which make them slow to load and unfriendly in general. They are actually turning to Facebook, because of its clean design. Some of them, anyway.

  • http://www.bizak.com Tom

    The September dip has everything to do with students returning back to school. New classes are beginning and until they get into the routine of not going and not doing homework, traffic will take a slight dip.

    [link removed]

  • Kristine

    You are forgetting that the majority of Facebook users are no longer students – they’re busy working adults who likely went on a summer vacation.

    Also – Flickr is on the decline, Photobucket surpassed Flickr in # of visits starting in August.

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