Posted February 26, 2008 4:59 pm by with 25 comments

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Is the honeymoon over for media darling Facebook? Well, yes and no. Hitwise today shows that Facebook’s market share is down, while their average time on site continues in its upward trend. However, Youth Trends‘ February report puts Facebook at the top of students’ list for the seventh straight quarter with 60% of males and 74% of females ranking it as their favorite site.

Hitwise’s Heather Dougherty (not to be confused with her UK coworker, Heather Hopkins) takes a look at Facebook’s popularity in the US, and the results are mixed:

One interesting point to note is that during recent peaks in traffic, the average visit time decreases, evidence that these spikes are being driven by less active users of Facebook.

Conversely, then, it is also these less active users that may be causing the drop offs, if average time on site continues its upward trend.

There are various theories as to why the sudden drop offs happen. The increase of application spam is one popular scapegoat. But here, exclusive to Marketing Pilgrim, is an in-depth analysis of the reasons behind Facebook’s traffic stumbles, as shown on Hitwise’s graph of weekly market share.

facebook market share analysis

But as Youth Trends’ report states, it’s still the favorite website of college students—maybe we should be glad that they’re buckling down for a change 😉 .

Guys, this stuff happens. Economies just can’t grow all the time. It’s not the end of the world, and it’s probably not the end of Facebook, either.

  • Relainer

    well facebook is just another fad and will pass soon, like myspace but it seems just the average everyone got over the hype cycle so people aren’t as keen on using it as they used to.

    also the graph was amusing

  • Jordan McCollum

    Oh? MySpace still has more users and a far higher market share than Facebook does.

  • That graph is absolutely hysterical and most likely rather accurate!

    As for it being a “fad”…we highly doubt that as Facebook is used consistently as a way to keep in touch with friends all in one place (just as Myspace) and used for other significant reasons. Facebook is not going away anytime soon and any significant fluctuation in traffic mostly likely DOES have to do with the application spam which hopefully they do get under control.

  • Facebook is really rolling right now. I don’t like the interface because it doesn’t allow much room for creativity, but most people seem to love the simplicity.

  • I think the honeymoon is definitely over for FaceBook. The initial surge is slowing down and they need to find new innovative ways of sustaining it. Cluttering the interface with a million different things doesn’t help either.

  • Zen

    Very funny chart labels. ROFL! 😀

  • It is not strange that Facebook falling off, because there are a lot of social network with more user friendly interfaces now. I don’t like facebook.

    There is interesting situation in Russia:
    You can see at Alexa Rating

    Most popular website in Russia is , which is based on slolen source code of

  • Facebook used to have a layer of professionalism, but it seems to be waning. It feels more and more like MySpace everyday. Personally, I hope it turns around, but time will tell.

  • Funny graph labels and most likely very true as well. Sometimes we analyze too much don’t we?

  • Hilarious graph.

    BTW I found this blog post via Facebook 🙂

  • I think that people have just lost interest a bit. It has become overrun with spammy apps and PR firms are managing celebrities profiles and some severely uncool people like politicians are using it as a tool to appear cool to kids.

  • I think mainly because of those useless applications. Some members were bored of waiting until the pages load.

  • I think the downfall of Facebook is all of those annoying applications people spam me with! Grow up people, seriously. I don’t care if you got bit by a vampire! lol.

  • Could it be that Facebook is being targeted by the “get-rich-spammers” – and that the water has become too murky in the Facebook bowl?

  • Facebook’s market shares were blown up.

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  • I wonder if people got tired of throwing sheep at one another 🙂

  • I am done with facebook after 5 months of regular use. Grown over it. Find it too boring now. I guess the fad will pass over time.

  • I’ve had success with using Facebook as a networking tool. Can’t tell ya how many dates I’ve scored from there!

  • That’s a pretty nice and hilarious graph and more than likely represents what happened.

    I think Facebook will be okay, I don’t think it will experience huge growth in a short period of time, but that from now on, growth will be nice and steady. Of course it’ll most likely experience a decreases during finals and research projects.

    IMO, the company is already solid and it’s use will grow.

  • C Smith

    With the number of users increasing, why would you not expect to find (over time) a tailing off in active users. Perhaps, there are more facebook users who have signed up because of friend pressure but aren’t taking it very seriously at the moment or because they haven’t got many friends yet.

    This is probably bound to happen as the website popularity increases. Facebook pioneers are always likely to be the most active.

  • Though it’s popular, Facebook has no ‘right’ to continue growing or making money, I’d be inclined to say it is a fad that will pass but I’m sure there will be a plateau once the media hype about FB subsides.

  • I’m using Facebook less and less. It was consuming too much time and getting too cluttered.

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  • It’s probably cause of how slow those pages load !

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