Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Does the 22% Decline in Facebook Usage per User Mean Anything for Social?

Last April I wrote a scathing breakdown of all the Facebook Hype Metrics using data directly from the Stats page. Warning its data heavy: 

Facebook has a MASSIVE PR problem when it comes to showcasing data. They shoot themselves in the foot constantly. It's easy to snow Marketers they are a big group of suckers it seems. Just read Mashable. In a Macro Aggregated way Facebook numbers are nice. On a per user basis (Micro) they have very little activity on their network.
Using the new and improved stats page:

When you take 540mil 'active users' this comes out to 43minutes per day per user. This is down from 55 minutes per user in April 2010! A 22% drop in time spent. This looks even worse considering I am logged in with Facebook in a Tab and that time clock is ticking and being recorded as time spent on the Network even though I am typing this!

When you break down 30b by 540m users this comes out to 55 items shared per user per month. That is 1.83 items per day per user. Since over 200m log in each day its about 5 items per user logged in. Not bad. If you are selling your Network as a place to go viral how does you get your item to be in that 5? And you have less than 5 because photo albums and notes are part of that! So you have to get into the 3 slots and there are a million of brands, brand page posts, links and stories etc vying for them every day!

Now an even bigger kicker because this impacts Facebook's Traditional Advertising which is most of their revenue!

Have you used Facebook's Mobile App? It is pretty good. Allows simple communication but small screen, and definitely not a place for Facebook Ads to be lucrative. But if 40% of the network are using Mobile then the people not using mobile are exchanging even less items, making it even harder to go viral or have your Fan Page post seen. The Mobile App also makes it harder to get seen in the Live Feed vs Desktop.

There are Stock Analysts following every single update to the stats page. They do exactly what I do when I delve into what these stats mean. They do not see a $33b value. Not if you are basing it on an Advertising/Business Presence Model. And does the 22% reduction in Network Usage say anything about Social? Or just Facebook?

UPDATE: Nov 17
David Berkowitz of Media Post and www.360i.com was kind of enough to tell me that when logged into Facebook in an open Tab, but not actually on the Tab doing any activity, that Facebook stops recording time spent. He is the first to state this since I have brought up that up before. I have an issue with very shady information not detailed by Web Properties. This is not just a Facebook issue and something I plan to discuss on a new blog post.

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