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Has Facebook Peaked?

Growth slows in key markets, growth rises for competition

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Has Facebook Peaked?
[ Business]

To be clear, this isn’t an “Is Facebook dead?” piece. Obviously Facebook is far from dead, and has become integrated in many facets of our lives, and will likely become integrated in more. In fact, just a few days ago, we ran a piece asking what we’ll be using Facebook for five years from now. We talked about things like payments, e-commerce, travel, search, identity, and entertainment.

Does Facebook have a bright future, or has it seen its finest hour? Tell us what you think.

As the comments we received on that article indicate, many people think Facebook will be around for the long haul (as opposed to experiencing a MySpace-like decline), but some aren’t so sure. Dave Culbertson, for example, says, “Facebook is basically AOL, part two on a larger scale. AOL was really about controlling content distribution and ecommerce. Companies such as Travelocity ended up paying millions of $$ to AOL to be ‘where the people are’ before they figured out that they could use the web to by-pass the AOL platform and go directly to where the most people are. Many brands jumping on the Facebook wagon will eventually realize this – again – and refocus on their websites. Do brands want to drive their own cars on the information highway or be stuck in the back of someone else’s bus?”

Chris Smith commented, “I personally think Facebook will fail. The invasion of privacy is starting to concern everyone. Also, the figure of 700 million users is rubbish, 700 million accounts maybe, but I believe this will be less than half unique users. How many pets have accounts, businesses, people with 2 accounts. Its all publicity figures in my opinion. 1 in 10 people of the world don’t have an account in my experience. Something will beat Facebook for usability and the privacy concerns in my opinion everyone will shift to that, I’d personally give Facebook 3 years max. They will end up the same way as Yahoo, who once were huge for the internet and where are they now, really?”

Well, actually Yahoo is still doing pretty well as far as the web is concerned. The company may have lost some of its luster in the search space, but it is still dominating in other areas. MySpace, for that matter (while clearly in decline), still had over 32 million unique visitors in April (Compete) while News Corp. looks to sell it. AOL, has had something of a resurgence, as it has become a more content-oriented company. Purchasing the Huffington Post was huge.

But can Facebook grow forever? According to Inside Facebook, the social network ahd 687 million total users at the beginning of June, but growth is slowing. Last year, it was common for Facebook to get 20 million new users in a month. This past April, it was 13.8 million. In May, it was even less at 11.8 million. Still a lot, but not by Facebook standards.

According to InsideFacebook, Facebook actually lost users in the US and Canada. In the US, Facebook dropped 6 million users in May, and Canada dropped 1.52 million. They also lost users in the UK and Norway, though the social network saw growth in countries like Brazil, Thailand, and Mexico.

According to Experian Hitwise, YouTube and Twitter are “eroding Facebook’s dominance of social.”

“In this month’s search and social analysis release we saw some pretty interesting trends in our Social Networking and Forums category, including a bumper month of traffic for Twitter, extended growth for YouTube and a declining market share for Facebook,” explains Hitwise UK Research Director Robin Goad.

Goad points out that YouTube is accounting for one in every five visits to all social networking sites in the UK. “Meanwhile Twitter had its biggest month of traffic ever, in part because of the super-injunction revelations, but also because the micro-blogging platform has carved a niche for itself as an excellent platform through which Internet users can share and consume news,” he says. “Recent examples like the death of Osama Bin Laden, the Egypt crisis and the resurgence of the ash cloud have all been shared and discussed on Twitter.”

“What’s interesting is that the growth of YouTube and Twitter is coming at the expense of Facebook,” he adds. “Since the beginning of 2011, Facebook’s market share of visits within the Social Networks and Forums category has fallen from nearly 58% to hover around the 54% mark.”

Facebook Hitwise info

“Despite the drop in market share in recent months, Facebook needn’t be reaching for the panic button yet,” Goad continues. “Although its market share is declining slightly, Facebook still commands over half of the visits to the fastest growing category online, and having a slightly smaller proportion of an ever increasing pie is still a very healthy place to be. However, it does raise the question: has Facebook now finished its growth phase in the UK, and what will a ‘stable’ usage figure look like?”

In another recent article, we asked, “Is Twitter becoming the real alternative to Facebook?” Twitter has aggressively expanded its strategy since co-founder Jack Dorsey returned to the company, having entered the photo-uploading game and purchased popular third-party client Tweetdeck, which should mean new and interesting things for its user interface. Twitter also recently launched its “follow” button, which when placed alongside Facebook “like” buttons, could go a long way in getting people to follow brands they’re interested in and increase user engagement (just one of a handful of things Twitter has done in this department just in the last few months).

There are still way more people using Facebook than there are Twitter, but Twitter’s numbers are growing. A recent report from Pew Internet found that 13% of adult Internet users have used Twitter (up from 8% in November), and Twitter use is spreading to a wider range of ages. Those between the ages 25 and 44 have experienced notable adoption growth since late 2010, and when you go younger, the adoption rate climbs (the youth are the future aren’t they?).

Who Uses Twitter?

Identity (you know, login) is the real key to the castle, and Facebook and Twitter already compete here. Facebook has done an incredible job in this department thus far. People are constantly logged into Facebook, participating in all kinds of activities around the web.

Twitter, however, while already growing rapidly in adoption, is about to become the main identity for all kinds of iPhone and iPad users. Apple’s upcoming iOS 5 operating system, powering these devices (not to mention the iPod Touch), comes with built-in Twitter integration, where you save your Twitter info, which can easily be accessed by any app. Think about the possibilities.

More interesting still, is that it appears it was almost Facebook instead of Twitter. Alexia Tsotsis at TechCrunch shows an early build of the OS, which essentially had Facebook in the same place Twitter is set to take over.

Mashable’s Adam Ostrow, reporting for CNN, even goes so far as to say “Twitter is the new Facebook.”

Facebook still continues to take over the world. This is illustrated beautifully in a world map comparison between June 2009 and June 2011, released earlier this week by Vincos. But how long will this be the case?

Has Facebook peaked, or have we yet to see just how powerful it will become? Share your thoughts.

Has Facebook Peaked?
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  • Thomas

    Facebook has definitely peaked. Their latest “improvements” violate the rule “If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it.” There are so many new sites available now that it will definitely cut into Facebooks share. Nothing is forever!

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      Any “improvements” in particular that you’re referring to?

  • Joe Momma

    Good article.

  • George

    “Facebook [...] has become integrated in many facets of our lives, and will likely become integrated in more.”

    Speak for yourself. Facebook has brought nothing more to the table than any other “social network” did before it. Aside from capturing the heavily egocentric college/university hipster and spreading from there, Facebook always was, and always will be, a fad.

    This is not to say “social-networking” is a fad in general, but the barometer will not be fixed on Facebook for the simple reason that it’s too invasive. People, in general, may like communicating and sharing pictures on the internet, but like a private conversation held in a public place like your local park, I imagine you don’t want to be bombarded with junk, nor do you want to have as much of what you consider a private conversation held in a public place broadcasted all over the world wide web, nor packaged up, and sold to media companies.
    When the users get bored, sick of getting ads hawked at them constantly, and their e-clique doesn’t feel exclusive enough, they’ll move to something else, ultimately the winner will be someone who can strike a balance between real privacy, and making the medium from which this happens sustainable. Moderation is the key.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      I guess I was speaking for myself and the millions of others still using it frequently.

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      Saying that Facebook isn’t more influential than prior social networks is absolutely ridiculous.

  • http://www.forsureservices.com jay

    I think they both will co exist in different spaces Facebook is very personal whereas twitter is more of broadcastr type medium – going forward we have to wait and watch for now though enough space to co exist and complement each other. @forsureservices

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      Yes, they’ve co-existed just fine so far, but then again, MySpace and Facebook co-existed just fine for a while too. Now MySpace is using Facebook login.

  • Robert james

    I deleted my Facebook account about a month ago after being frustrated by the shoddy iPhone application. The latest update was a backward step and I am not alone in this view if you read the latest iPhone Facebook app reviews. The whole platform seems to be at breaking point so I’m not going to build my ‘social network’ on sinking sand. No wander that today I read reports about millions ditching it.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      I’ve heard plenty of complaints about the Android app as well.

  • http://www.fairwaysandroughs.com Patrick

    Not sure about facebook, however the social media is still hot.
    Golf social media is next?

  • http://wredlich.com Warren Redlich

    Facebook is doing a good job of developing into a platform. As for Twitter, I still don’t get it. It will die long before fb. While I love YouTube, I don’t see the comparison. Facebook is broader than either and a lot more interesting that Twitter.

  • Jostyn

    I think it’s definitely peaked in the more mature markets – I use it about twice a week just to check with family who are the extent of my “friends” and the number of posts is way way down. We have FB fatigue and I am really concerned about the continuing escapades of FB trying to creep round the privacy corners – the face matching is just obscene. My business account is useless.
    I’m looking forward to deleting my account as soon as family pressure to be on FB backs off!

  • http://www.DillonAdvisoryServices.com Dale Dillon Lips

    Facebook’s extremely high rate of growth is unsustainable over the long-term. The question should be — how much TIME is each FB account holder on FB. I’m willing to be that the time spent has increased exponentially!

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      That would be helpful to see. It seems that they’re testing features to keep people on the site longer (such as a “what’s happening now” section.

  • http://www.campfirecontent.com Charlie

    I don’t really think Facebook has peaked yet…at least not if they keep sharp and read their membership right. With 1/2 billion members (or more?), it’s a tough job, but I think they have the stuff to do it. If they can get their brand to the “household word” level (i.e., like Google), I think they will do quite well for some time to come.

    I’m waiting for Facebook (or maybe someone else?) to create the “one-stop-site” for ALL web connectivity…be it social, search, shop, chat, share, upload/download, games, movies, TV, and whatever else people want…from one platform. I believe people will flock to such user-friendly, user-needed, user-wanted…(heck, it’ll likely be mostly “user-designed”, I guess) venues. And, I think Facebook already has a good start toward that.

    Just sayin’…

  • tracy

    It has totally peaked… facebook is to social networking what disco is to dancing…

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      Interesting analysis.

  • Dave Roche

    My gut feeling is that email model’s like Yahoo Mail might be the way of the future because it is starting to incorporate many of features you will find in social sites. I think its a natural progression for email accounts like Yahoo, whose live chat plugin is particularly good at encouraging more and more people away from social sites and back to using email services again. Who would have thought this twelve months ago. If Yahoo can fine tune this service it could open up a hybrid model of email and social service all morphed into one package.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      We’re definitely already seeing more social features in popular email services. Email isn’t going anywhere.

  • http://myalmanac.blog.ca/ R. Hiebert

    When we look at history, I agree that if and when the creators sit back and relax, yes it’s doomed. On the other hand, adapting and evolving will maintain the name & goals of the original idea. When I think about the reason people I know stopped using or not even use it, it’s because of the abuse and felonious application of it’s capabilities.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      I know people who have stopped using it because they feel some kind of obligation to participate, and they simply don’t want to be a part of that. That and they end up being connected to people that they really don’t want to be connected to.

  • http://www.tden.com King Ralph

    I wouldn’t shed one tear if Facebook disappeared. It’s getting annoying to have to post to it and hit like buttons or whatever other gimmick of the day is in order. Now Google has a +1 button. Everytime someone sneezes they have to share it with the world. All this activity is clogging up the Internet. The whole thing is stupid if you ask me.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      The +1 button is a whole other story. We’ll see how that one goes.

  • fred

    More and more people are realizing that ALL these giant internet companies are created and funded by Mossad/CIA in order to track everyone on earth and these so-called boy geniuses like Gates and Zuckerberg are nothing more than very fortunate fronts for these agencies who are paid handsomely for their participation in entrapping the people of this planet in THEIR web. Like all people who are given huge money of course they must donate plenty back. They couldn’t spend it all anyway. Companies that can go from someone’s garage to 400 billion in worth is 2-3 years is a total bs story. Use of this internet by us peons was only given when it became obsolete after the above agencies got their new and improved version. What to do with the old one? That’s obvious now isn’t it.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      Didn’t you see The Social Network?

  • http://wsi-applied-websolutions.com Alexander

    Just observing my colleagues, friends and my own children I can tell since a couple of months that Facebook has peaked.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      Youth activity in this area is an interesting factor, considering the young are more widely embracing Twitter.

  • http://www.cheekyoffer.com John

    Great question!

    Has it peaked? From the feedback I have had from users of my site and other friends etc, it has started to slow down, as people are beginning to get a little bored with the way it constantly intrudes in there lives. Pushing adverts and info they haven’t requested down there throats. It is no longer a social site, more of a cheap way of advertising your goods.

    Let’s face it, FB will at some point start to slow down with new users. That’s because it already has around 50% of the total world internet users already on board, and it means it can’t grow like it has previously.

    It is another one of those businesses’ that will eventually start to go into reverse, simply because it is always trying to evolve and they will take it to far causing it to implode.
    It is currently the “big talking point” but we all know that the internet is very dynamic and trying to evolve one business into a multi tasking company leaves you open to a big fall as you are placing all of your eggs in one basket and leaving yourself open to competition from bigger fish. They really should have accepted Google’s offer and taken there knowledge and used it to create other sites that they are now trying to turn FB info.

    BR
    John (cheekyoffer.com)

  • http://cozumelmexico.net Bob Rodriguez

    I’ve been involved in IT and E-commerce since before the web/AOL. For those who are old enough to remember ProComm Plus; they will know what I am talking about. At least with that program I could send redline copies of our commercial contracts between myself and my attorneys over phone lines. I was the first farmer@aol.com the first day AOL opened its doors. Try to get that e-mail address today. I could write a book about what has come and gone since and where the revenue has come from. However, this is not about the past.

    One last point; when Netflix was selling for $17 a share I told my wife that people would be staying home more now that the recession was upon us (before March of 09 when the bottom fell out). Now Netflix is at $260 a share. People ARE staying home and enjoying cheap entertainment (even those with coins).

    Couch potatoes are a dime a dozen right now. Facebook is an easy form of entertainment and is free. If the capital markets continue to decline you may see more people sign up for this free entertainment. But does Facebook have a future without cash flow? Where is the cash flow going to come from? A booming economy?

    If Facebook were a public company I would put tons of money on the short side.

    I had an account. Most of my “friends” have thousands of “friends” because they are celebrities. How much money do you think that they are making from their “friends”? You guessed it. Oh yeah, they don’t personally know a fraction of their “friends”.

    So the bottom line is have fun! It’s free!

  • http://www.peak.bz Greg

    Great article. I’d like to see another that expands upon this one as it relates to social media. Will everyone use it? It’s hard to imagine the web without it or that anything could replace something that’s just starting to build a huge empire of sorts. Then again, who thought websites would have to share the online users’ time like it does now?

  • http://www.freelanceme.eu John

    It is obvious that Facebook is not dead yet. But personally I think facebook is just a social media application of the first generation, and that social media will become a vitally integrated part of the internet and the way we interact with the internet. It might be that facebook will be able to catch up with the trend but is not sure. Mayb in five years we will still be using facebook, but nog in twenty. After all, who talks about the hype Second Life these days ?

  • DTagel

    Facebook? just a hype for a few months .. that is all.
    No real added value – that is the problem.
    Now they are desparate to find it … it’s over.

  • http://tinyurl.com/aboutdarrylmanco Darryl Manco

    This data I heard the other day on way to the airport. It struck my interest as an Internet marketing analyst to drive across the point that for a business the amount of followers means nothing unless the business understands the particulars about its followers so that it can create “themed” segmentation messages, and then engage with the consumer segments via multiple social channels so that the consumer, which likes/follows the brand, expands the message. FB has many many voyeurs, but when a voyeur can be engaged because of a social consumer of the brand, and it can be traced back to the social environment that fostered the message for then ROI brand messaging measure is achieved. Has FB peaked? Not by any means. It is however learning, and as FB hears the voices of its consumers it will continue to phoenix.

  • http://www.visionefx.net Rick Vidallon

    As long as new babies are born and we all continue to age there will always be a place for Face book.

    When I need to order a pizza, remove a concrete stain or order some software I go to Google.

    When I want to nudge old and new friend I go to Face book.

    Google is search – Face book is Social. PERIOD

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      Did you know Domino’s has an “order now” button on their Facebook page?

  • http://theconsumercommando.com Vince DeMattia

    Facebook is becoming a mess. It’s gone beserk. I think it’s time for other geniuses to created more specialized Facebook type sites. I don’t necessarily mean specialized as far as subject matter… but more specialized by some sort of relevancies… even age groups or locales. But, Facebook is a maze with traffic jams and frantics that we’re all trying to get away from, I think. V

  • sj

    IMHO Facebook was ridiculous to begin with and just keeps maintaining that image. Silliness all the way around – I’m pretty sure all those Facebookers could put the time they spend there to much better use.

  • http://allfaith.com John of AllFaith

    The introduction of the often insulting and slanderous applications Facebook is using/allowing may lead to their demise. My Facebook pages are more and more often receiving posts asking if I’m gay, a terrorist, a good dad, a good mom, sexy, ugly, handsome, good in bed, have had sex with “your father”: “Click here to read the answer.” My contacts are not posting these questions and know nothing of them. The apps are doing this in their names after scanning their systems! Facebook has thus far not responded my repeated requests to stop slandering me. I’m considering cutting off all ties with Facebook because of this.

  • http://growingtomatoecenter.com/ Jack

    I tried facebook once it gave me concerned about being there, they made some change and I lost a lot followers my photo and more. I staying with twitter.

  • Merry

    I think Facebook has reached it’s peak. I agree with so many issues regarding fraud and accounts being hijacked that people will think twice about using Facebook. So many changes,and hardly personal anymore is it?

  • http://nexwebsites.com Web Designers

    I agree with your views on Facebook. I have been thinking the much of the same things, although I wasn’t aware of the specif numbers. Another, even more detrimental, I think, development of Facebook has been thier trend towards making facebook into a sleazy environment with obscene applications and dating site type features.

  • http://e1text.com,tmi4you.com mike forristal

    Facebook is a victim of it’s own success. It grew to big to fast and is now going to have to grow even faster, to keep it fresh and new. You can’t be everything to everybody and expect to stay on top forever.
    Going public always sucks the life out of a company. Take a look at my two sites, e1text.com and tmi4you.com, and let me know what you think.

  • Adrian

    Facebook’s “My way or the highway” attitude to personal privacy, site changes and architecture is a turn off. They need to fire the founder.

    I stopped posting a few months’ back.

  • http://dallasairfilters.com John Mauldin

    I thought Social Media was about building community? Perhaps I was mistaken. I think the people who are racing to facebook are the same ones who think the only way to sell anything is to hawk it to everyone, beat us all over the head with sales messages and piss on the idea of forming long term relationships. Now Facebook is like the gold rush towns of the west with every DH in the world invading the space. Frankly, I am no longer interested in this, the latest edition of crap magazine, electronic style.

    • http://supplementshealth.info Supplement

      Facebook still dominates the world in terms of social network use, with Russia and China marking the biggest holdouts where home – grown networks are the most popular……..

  • Eduardo

    Facebook has no future. Many of my relatives and friends, they rejeted the use of Facebook because is boring and they have no privacy and in many ways is this latest subjet the key to leave Facebook.

    regards

    Eduardo

    • http://bondinsurance.net Bond James

      From my experience, I get the sense that being on Facebook is not cool anymore. The early adopters and trend setters are moving away. [But] these are also exactly the type of people brand advertisers want to reach; if they are leaving, it doesn’t look good for Facebook.

  • Alan

    The most common reason I hear cited for Facebook abandonment is Facebooks abysmal lack of support, they are virtually un-contactable, aloof, they have accrued an audience that their infrastructure cannot sustain, it will surely continue to collapse.

  • http://www.mlmconsultant.com Rod Cook

    Comparing FaceBook to the old AOL message boards was a stroke of genius. FB has many more privacy issues and no moderators. FB is work and people do get bored keeping up. Time will tell but the trends presented in this article are thought provoking!

  • Jack

    I made my girlfriend shut down her facebook page and she does nothing but thank me every other day for giving her that peace of mind.

    Facebook is not a social platform anymore.. it only collects poersonal information and categorizes everyone on earth to keywords that they can manipulate and perhaps one day use against humanity.

    In fact I have a facebook page with a pic of my @ss as my profile image and facebook facial recognition has recoqnized my @ss, now, everytime someone post my @ss on facebook, FB automatically tags it to my facebook page name… aint that something.. FB “likes” my @ss!

    • Robert

      Too funny !

    • Beamer

      Best laugh I had all day! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Ooooh the visual. It’s people like you that make the world go round. Not enough of you in the world.

      I tried to join FB long time ago. The questions they asked were too personal and none of their F***KG business, so I didn’t join. Looks like I missed out?

  • Bango

    I killed my FaceBook account a short time ago.

    Not just stopped using it other than as a spot for automated updates to be sent to, but actually click that button that says “delete”.

    I have always had reservations on Zuckerberg’s attitude towards user data, and I think the company is infused with the attitude that users are “giving” their data to Facebook, and that FaceBook “owns” the data in its care.

    The inability to effectively firewall business from personal, and the various “mistakes” with regard to privacy always kept it a grudge purchase to use FB.
    The final straw was not just getting caught using outrageous (if not illegal) anti-Google tricks, but also their reaction: blaming everyone but themselves.

    That told me clearly that what small additional value I got from FB that I didn’t from the constellation of other social media that I use, was simply not enough value to have to put up with Zuckerberg and his organism going through adolescence.

    It just wasn’t worth the schlepp of having to monitor what they were up to.

    I think that this essential character flaw in the company will eventually kill them off, but I am not hanging around to see what they will do with user data if they wind up on the auction block.

    Bye FB, enjoy the ride

  • http://www.theberkshires24-7.com Lisa Stohr

    I run a small but top ranking, high traffic local website. An average of 2% of my visitors come from Facebook. Over 85% come directly from a Google Search.
    Sure, there may be 700,000 Facebook accounts, but probably 1/3 of that figure represents actual Facebook users, and even less than that are ‘active’ Facebook users. With the Zinga game craze, people were known to create as many as ten Facebook accounts (against the guidelines, yes – but still common practice) to support their gaming goals.
    So much of my time, energy & resources were put into building a Facebook fanbase – as marketing experts emphasized the almighty importance of ‘social presence’. I believe I am also about to direct my focus back to the website itself. Good ol’ email was social presence enough, and cost a lot less than the Facebook page upkeep!!
    My opinion: Facebook will inevitably face a slow, natural death.

    (PS: Enjoyed this article!)

    • Thomas

      Lisa,

      You are absolutely right. All the people I can target with my Facebook campaign are using Google for their searches. Facebook is getting a neglible part of my PPC marketing budget, because it is not very targeted traffic compared to what I get from Google AdWords. My bid price on FB is about 1/5 of my average bid price on Google, so now my ROI is about the same. Because of my low bid, I get very few impressions on Facebook and very few clicks compared to what I get from Google and Bing, but those targeted search visitors are five times as likely to turn into clients than those coming from Facebook.

      Thanks to all the privacy issues created by FB, many FB users only keep a minimum of information in the system, so my only targeting on FB is based on age. Targeting based on occupation or interests has been made useless by FB and they continue to marginalize themselves as an online marketing tool.

      I don’t think Facebook will die, but over time more and more users will see their profile on FB strictly as a “just-in-case” tool they can use to reconnect with an old friend they do not normally talk to – if need be. Facebook is no longer a meeting place (if it ever was) but more like an organic telephone book for old contacts you would like to keep in hand.

      • http://www.theberkshires24-7.com Lisa Stohr

        True, Thomas!
        Facebook will probably not ever ‘die’ completely – I do use my personal account to keep in touch with long lost friends and out of state relatives, and more than likely always will.
        I was never really bothered by the ‘privacy issues’ Facebook constantly deals with – First, I have nothing to ‘hide’ and 2nd, the WWW/Big Brother knows more about each and every one of us who ever logged onto the internet than we could possibly fathom!
        It IS little unsettling that my fb friends’ profile pictures show up on my cellphone’s caller ID – but that is just a fragment of what is shared ‘out there’!
        Thanks for your reply; it was nice hearing from another with business-related opinions! :o)

    • Brenda

      I too run a local, high traffic website and have the Twitter & Facebook page for my business since everyone says I need them. But Facebook it just too hard to figure out ! (And I have a College degree) I always thought Facebook would be dead in 5 years time.
      I understand Twitter (but hate the silly, short posts some do about the weather or their morning coffee – really who cares. For Marketing Twitter is easier and less of a commitment. Having said that I find very little traffic from either – Is it really worth it?

      • http://www.theberkshires24-7.com Lisa Stohr

        Hi Brenda!
        Just the opposite for me, I have only about 100 followers on twitter, and I simply ‘don’t get it’ !! You just tweet stuff out into the ‘air’ – as far as I’m concerned. And I couldn’t care less about others eating here or shopping there either!! … one guy did a minute by minute tweet-cast of his 2 hr grocery shopping excursion….??? Who has time for that? To TWEET it – or READ it???
        Facebook on the other hand, seems to offer a platform more conducive to building a network. Yet, even tho my ‘fans’ are very active and involved with my page, so FEW of them actually click thru to the website. It seems in our area, too many people ONLY know facebook … the internet stops there. LOL
        Thank heavens our area is a MAJOR tourist area – in all 4 seasons! Google ranks my site high, I get my traffic (from all over the world), and I am happy with that.
        I’ll keep facebook for fun, and twitter, ugh. I don’t know why I’d keep twitter! lol!!

        • Bango

          Ok, think of twitter in terms of two things – (1) a way for non-human intelligent devices to say something. For example, a strain gauge on a bridge or a bearing on a machine can be wired to a net-resident reporting box that starts tweeting information if a parameter is exceeded. There is a whole host of use in that.
          (2) a way to follow a leader in a field. If I am a Java programmer, or a surgeon, or a materials scientist, wouldn’t it be interesting to hear short digestable snippets of what the leaders in my field were reading, thinking, busy with? Many of the websites and new tools in my field come to my attention because one of the leaders in my field tweeted about it. It is a smart way to say “hey, look there”

        • http://magazine.roleplayguide.com Filipa Thespian

          The scary thing for me was when I was going through a custody suit a couple years ago. My X discovered my Twitter and followed me under a pseudonym i never did figure out. Then anything and everything I posted, he brought up in my custody suit to show how unfit I am as a mother to my children. That I was endangering them and what not.

          Here I was using Twitter to connect and get to know professionals from whom I could learn and share and grow for my new career, and hopefully through conversation, get the word out about what I was up to professionally.

          He took many things out of context and tried to create this aura about me of someone sharing all my personal data about myself and my kids to the world, thus endangering them. (which of course I wasn’t doing)

          But it really made me stop and think about it. I think I haven’t religiously used that Twitter (the one under my real name) since then. Any online interaction I do now is under my online persona through which I have businesses in virtual spaces.

          It is now so very important to keep my real life and my online life (even when business is involved) separate as a result.

          Filipa.

  • Arend Bouwer

    Quite a nice article, very instructive to read – and certainly to keep a hard copy of it to read again in one or two years from now I think. I do have an account since some time but after having had a good look around haven’t added my “profile”. Facebook content is of such a selective and arbitrary nature that its name should better be changed to Fakebook. As to Twitter, I can’t imagine that we have ever managed to live without this silly waste of time.

  • Daniel Larson

    First off, Facebook has ALWAYS been a nightmare to me and have NEVER liked it. I personally feel MYSPACE is SO SO SO much better meaning, it works like it is suppose to!!! My problems with Facebook is I am getting so tired of watching everyone praise it in the media but yet the users are CONSTANTLY battling and slamming it cause it never WORKS PROPERLY, it does nothing but stall, lose, screw-up, etc. to the point that I don’t understand how anyone could have anything good to say about it. I do NOT remember EVER having issues like this on MYSPACE.
    SO, I think Facebook’s DOOM is all upon itself, people are getting sick and tired of the same old problems, same old hacking issues, same old unresponsive crap as always. YES there is MUCH ROOM for competition and I believe if MYSPACE (Time Warner?) would get there act together and do it all right and give it another shot they could BLOW FACEBOOK AWAY as well as any NEW competition and I would bet everyone would IMMEDIATELY JUMP SHIP FROM FACEBOOK TO WHO EVER that can do it right.

  • Thomas

    “Many brands jumping on the Facebook wagon will eventually realize this – again – and refocus on their websites. Do brands want to drive their own cars on the information highway or be stuck in the back of someone else’s bus?”

    Facebook is a communication channel and a marketing tool. Nobody in their right mind would ‘focus’ on Facebook exclusively. Anyone who has this ‘Facebook or nothing’ idea should 1) read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promotion_(marketing) 2) hand in his resignation if he is in any way employed in marketing 3) ask for a refund of the money he paid for his education.

    As a marketeer, the question about how many registered users FB has is completely irrelevant. The big question is how many people are using facebook on a regular basis and how many of those are potential customers I can reach with this particular communication channel.

    According to our good old friend, Pareto, the largest part of the effects come from a small part of the causes and that will also apply to Facebook. Looking at the behavior among my FB Friends, I would say it does not follow the straight 80/20 distribution, but it is more like 10% of my friends are behind 95% of the activity that I see in my ‘circle’.

    A lot of the hot-shots having an opinion about social media are myopic in their thinking and marginally important for professional marketeers. Facebook represents a group of potential customers, but no professional marketeer would put all his egs in one Facebook basket!

  • http://www.gojira.20m.com Barney Buckley

    In my opinion Facebook is a social connection and a great outlet for advertising, and Facebook has its limitations and at the same time to me its out lived its usefullness.

  • http://turningads.net Virgilio abalos Sr

    I believe the principle of obesity also applies in business.

  • Miguel Boeres

    As long as there are stupid people Facebook and all that shit will go on growing. But that’s not the worst thing on the www. Did you notice that in Gmail you find to the right Google Ads referred to the issue of your emails? That means they are actually reading your emails to call those specific ads… And, just another curiosity: who do they think they are to select the good from the bad and send some to spam and the rest to inbox? Anyway anything we could say here won’t change those big business.

    • http://www.theberkshires24-7.com Lisa Stohr

      Miguel,
      It’s likely not a person reading your email, it’s a bot recognizing words in it’s content, and that’s where your ads come from. Same as facebook … there isn’t a group of bored people sitting around reading everyone’s profiles, lol! :o) When I switched my relationship status to ‘engaged’, all my facebook ads were replaced with wedding boutiques and photographers, etc! The word ‘engaged’ automatically triggered these ads – no one actually read it. Probably not even my ‘friends’, hahaha.
      As far as mail that goes to ‘junk’ or spam folders automatically, the same principle applies. Gmail (and most other mail servers) recognize where your email comes from. It’s likely that the mail found in your spam folder went out to 10,000 or more other email addresses, this sends a little flag: this email might be spam!
      If you find something in your spam or junk folder that isn’t spam, you can rectify that for future emails simply by clicking “this is not spam” or ‘unmark as spam” (each server has their own lingo!). Future emails from that email address should go to your regular inbox. :o)

  • Stephen D

    Even though Facebook is touted as “social media”, for me the privacy issues with Facebook are a big negative. I like the anonymity of the web. I don’t need all my personal friends, work, accounts, income, etc. all posted to the world. Anyway, Facebook is good for a conversation and advertising. But beyond that, no thanks.

  • Stephen D

    As an addition, I do like the MySpace platform (just me?) and I like Yahoo and Bing results for search. It took my website longer to be indexed by these two, but the traffic I get from them is more focused.

  • Stephen D

    Twitter’s new platform is great…No octopus tentacles linking everyone. Subject matter is the link. Not birthdate and place of residence.

  • http://SilverLeafWebDesign.com David Nielsen

    Facebook is awesome, never before have we been able to help small business target customers with this much precision. Relationship building on Facebook is easy compared to 10 or 15 years ago. I think Facebook is just getting started.

  • James Vidrine

    I personaly think Facebook will keep getting bigger and bigger,cause
    every time I open a site they say see us on facebbok. So every one and
    every body just keeps going to facebbok. A lot of people I know it
    looks like an addiction, they are on facebook from the time they wake
    up till they go to to bed.So with every body joining facebook, it
    can’t help but get bigger, prety soon it will be as big as Google if
    it’s not already as big. But that’s a good thing, I think.

  • srikanth

    yes, it will be there for few more yrs, because people r very much interest in videos,walls, and it is common to all the people ….its bit fine while comparing to other social networks….

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