So why are people fleeing Facebook? It is hard to say, maybe Facebook has all along just been a fad that is losing it’s shine. Mass migrations towards alternate social network with new online playgrounds also seems to add in to Facebook’s trouble.
As Facebook prepares to update investors on its performance in the first three months of the year, with analysts forecasting revenues up 36% on last year, studies suggest that its expansion in the US, UK and other major European countries has peaked.
In the last month, the world’s largest social network has lost 6m US visitors, a 4% fall, according to analysis firm SocialBakers. In the UK, 1.4m fewer users checked in last month, a fall of 4.5%. The declines are sustained. In the last six months, Facebook has lost nearly 9m monthly visitors in the US and 2m in the UK.
Users are also switching off in Canada, Spain, France, Germany and Japan, where Facebook has some of its biggest followings. A spokeswoman for Facebook declined to comment.
“The problem is that, in the US and UK, most people who want to sign up for Facebook have already done it,” said new media specialist Ian Maude at Enders Analysis. “There is a boredom factor where people like to try something new. Is Facebook going to go the way of Myspace? The risk is relatively small, but that is not to say it isn’t there.”
Facebook is the most authoritative source on its own user numbers, and the firm will update investors on its performance for the March quarter on Wednesday. Wall Street expects revenues of about $1.44bn, up from $1.06bn a year ago.
The company warned in recent stockmarket filings that it might be losing “younger users” to “other products and services similar to, or as a substitute for, Facebook”.
Wary of competition from services that were invented for the mobile phone rather than the PC, founder Mark Zuckerberg has driven through a series of new initiatives in the last year designed to appeal to smartphone users. The most significant is Facebook Home, software that can be downloaded on to certain Android phones to feed news and photos from friends – and advertising – directly to the owner’s locked home screen.
Looks like the new fad is “I am not in Facebook.”, I sure am not, are you?
So, tell us, why leave Facebook?