Business Insider’s SAI reports that Facebook is actually losing users in the countries where its meteoric rise to importance began.
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.
Calling that the end is near for Facebook is very premature at this point. Let’s first consider that even with these drops somewhere around half of the entire populations of the US and Canada has a Facebook account. That’s still impressive.
A more important metric for Facebook is the same one that advertisers need to be looking at before they consider the social network for marketing efforts. How many of those accounts are active and real? It’s less of an issue for Facebook than it is for Twitter but all of the talk of total number of accounts in a social network is starting to sound like TV’s old mantra of how many households they reach. It’s an empty number that anyone who is doing even a little thinking will see as hype and not truly important.
In SAI’s usual fashion there were suggestions of doom for Facebook and the concern that growth had stopped unless they get into China etc etc. Sure that’s interesting on some level but it’s mere conjecture. The possibility of burn out on the service is considered as well and I can tell you that for me personally that is happening. I can’t pinpoint exactly what is happening but I can say that my interest in the service and what it provides has reached its limits. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still helpful but if I don’t get to it for a few days I have never felt like I missed anything.
So how are seeing Facebook these days? Is it what it used to be? If there is this leveling off of sorts happening in English language markets does that make you rethink how marketing dollars are applied?
Let us know what you think in the comments. It’s Monday so you need to get the creative juices flowing. What better way than popping off on the service that people can’t seem to live without but still love to hate.