Facebook Weakening In The UK
New Hitwise data makes clear that current UK Internet traffic to Facebook is roughly seven times what it was one year ago. Unfortunately for the social network, it also demonstrates that Facebook hasn’t done a great job of recovering from its most recent January lull.
At the end of December in both 2006 and 2007, traffic to Facebook took quite a dive. Then it bumped back up towards the beginning of February. Robin Goad writes, "However, despite the similarity it is clear that the rate of growth has declined. This time last year the traffic was almost back to Christmas levels, but it still has a way to go this year."
The average session time of UK Facebook users also appears to be leveling off after a period of growth. And at 20 minutes and 50 seconds, it lags behind MySpace sessions (23:59) and Bebo sessions (30:32).
Things don’t look entirely grim for Facebook, though. Session lengths at both MySpace and Bebo have been dropping for some time now, and the absence of spectacular growth isn’t the same as certain death.
For the moment, then, we’ll leave Facebook alone, and just wonder how AOL feels about the Bebo numbers.