Facebook Loses Users In The UK

Key footnote: "for the first time ever"

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[ Social Media]

Between December and January, Facebook experienced a five percent decline in unique visitors in the UK.  From the company’s perspective, this certainly isn’t good.  The dip probably doesn’t spell the end of the popular social network, however.

Facebook Loses Users In The UKFacebook drops 5% between December and January

The five percent fall represents the first time Facebook ever suffered a loss among UK users.  Still, Nielsen found that MySpace endured an identical drop, and Bebo failed to attract two percent of the users it’s accustomed to seeing.  If anything (and by that, we mean if you’re feeling especially pessimistic), social networking as a whole is losing its glow in the UK.

Advertisers don’t need to grow any more uneasy than they already are, though, and folks who are only now growing used to Facebook shouldn’t feel that they came too late.

Everyone needs to remember that December and January aren’t run-of-the-mill months – holidays and vacations are packed in tight.  Travel can whisk people away from their computers, and in any event, relatives who haven’t been seen in a year tend to take precedence over zombie games and poking people.

If the declines in unique visitors continue between January and February, social networks’ UK operations may need to worry.  But for the time being, a slight dip shouldn’t be a problem; as Nielsen also pointed out, Facebook remains up 712 percent on a year-to-year basis.

UPDATE: Just received a note from a Facebook spokesperson . . . .  Seems like the company’s stats tell a different story.

"The number of users for Facebook continues to climb in the UK.  Our internal monthly active user numbers rose between December and January in the UK and are now at more than 8.3 million.  Facebook tracks active monthly users, rather than registered user or unique visitors.  Active users reflect those who have used the site in the past 30 days."

Facebook Loses Users In The UK
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  • http://www.dvhdesign.co.uk/seo-essex.php Deb Harrison

    There is a bit of controversy going on here in the UK at the moment:  About 17 teenagers in Wales have committed suicide and amidst all the hype in the media, some fingers are pointing at the social media sites (most of the victims had profiles on Bebo)..

    I have no idea if this is related but it wouldn’t surprise me if there is a bit of scepticism from teenagers and parents that has created a knock-on effect.

  • http://www.rob-bell.com Rob

    I think Facebook could have a problem in that people are so busy with the ever growing mountain of applications that it’s lost a lot of the fun of being there – the thing that makes it so good is the ability to form networks with  friends and have 3 or more -way messaging, coordinate events and find like-minded people in local networks.

    Nowadays 95% of my notifications come not from friends, but from apps – it’s quite annoying sometimes, especially on my Blackberry which vibrates each time a new one arrives!

    And I wish there was some way of customising your page more thoroughly – everyone has pretty much the same page look, which for me is a little dull.


  • http://www.posicionarsitio.es H

    100 % agree with Rob. Facebook lost that special feeling it used to have. I personally don’t have much time for free but sometime ago I used to go to Facebook, find friends, do some fun etc. Right now, I am trying to get rid of those people that call me "friend" and don’t even ever heard about them. And I like new figures in general. But in Facebook it seems to me that is almost always the same with different name.

    Héctor – www.posicionarsitio.es

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