Facebook is worth billions of dollars today, but some analysts say the social network is losing millions of users as well. Is Facebook losing the "magic touch?"
Under threat from new online social networks such as Instagram and mobile app, Path, Facebook is said to be losing millions of users in the biggest markets. Independent research data suggests that Facebook's expansion in the U.S., U.K., and other major European countries has already peaked.
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According to analysis firm SocialBakers, the world's largest social network saw a 4% decline in its U.S. users last month, translating to 6 million visitors lost. U.K. Facebook users, on the other hand, declined by 4.5% last month, or 1.4 million users. Overall, Facebook lost almost 9 million monthly U.S. visitors and 2 million monthly U.K. visitors in the last six months. The decline in visitors is also apparent in Canada, France, Spain, Germany, and Japan, analysts added.
Users seem be to logging on new services and social networks instead. Photo sharing site Instagram gained 30 million users in 18 months previous to its acquisition by Facebook, and Path is reportedly winning 1 million users per week. The mobile phone-based social network has a reported 9 million users.
Though Facebook continues to grow in South America and India, data trackers report user level decline in developed markets. An algorithm developed by analysts from Jefferies bank suggests that Facebook user levels in the first quarter may have declined from its peak.
Users may also be switching their desktop screen time for smartphones and tablets, something that Facebook itself has warned about. Nevertheless, Facebook is still expected to make up to $1.44 billion in revenue for its March quarter, up from $1.06 billion last year.
In response to falling user levels, Facebook is focusing on expanding its mobile user base and designing smartphone Facebook software, as well as increasing advertising revenues.
Source: The Guardian