Month-To-Month Facebook Traffic Falls By Ten Percent
Earlier this year, several research companies recorded a decrease in traffic to Facebook, and all sorts of people began to characterize the site as a passing fad. Then it turned out Facebook had experienced similar dips before, and the talk subsided. This time, Facebook might not be so lucky.
Adam Ostrow reports that, "[i]n April, traffic fell to 22.4M uniques, down from the 24.9M reported in March," according to new U.S. data from Nielsen Online. In comparison, "MySpace also saw a modest decline (from 60.3M to 58.7M), while LinkedIn continued its torrid growth from 7.8M uniques in March to 8.6M in April."
There isn’t much of a precedent for this sort of thing. Recent trends suggest that Facebook is supposed to greatly outdo MySpace in terms of growth, if not the older network’s overall number of users. Also, although Facebook’s beginning-of-year issues seem to be seasonal, Hitwise data indicates that April is supposed to be a healthy month.
The spread of apps could be to blame, with users getting tired of fighting off sheep and sexual preference quizzes. Or Facebook’s problem could be related to the economy, with people spending less time goofing around with friends and more time building at-work connections.
Regardless, things don’t look great for the social network. Keep an eye out for the f-word.