The Beginning of the End – Facebook
Facebook is in trouble and everyone should know it.
Ever since it was a college student exclusive has Facebook been on the rise. From around five million at the end of 2005 and to 158 million US users and close to One Billion world wide users in May of 2012 it seems Facebook is doing well. Unfortunately for Mark Zuckerberg and the gang of users it is not looking to be too good. In the last six months leading to May 2012 Facebook has seen a sharp decline of 4.8% US users. People are disengaged and activity is dwindling. In this article we are going to explore the reasons why this may be happening and what this means for Facebook’s biggest competitor, Twitter.
Change may always seem like a good thing to have, unfortunately for Facebook it has been changing and transforming itself faster than the average user can handle. There have been major outcries in the past of Facebook changing its interface leaving consumers confused and agitated. This is no different with Facebook’s introduction of the Timeline. The issue with the Facebook Timelineis that it’s so cluttered and for the most part hard to get a grip of. This confusion has led to Facebook dropping users.
Regardless of the Timeline, Facebook has been angering their users as of late with a more aggressive addition of ads. Not just on the sides of the page but also incorporating a few ads on a person’s newsfeed. This is absolutely ridiculous as people do not come to Facebook to look at ads. This is infuriating the users causing them to complain. It does not matter to Facebook as they make profits this way so the people are now leaving.
Other changes from the past and as of late undermine the users opinion. Privacy changes come often without users prior knowledge leading to an investigation by the FTC. For failing to keep privacy promises a settlement was reached and a fine was paid. Another instance was the use of users names and images in advertisements with out consent. Once again a fine was paid and promise to change advertising policies, but the damage had been done. One of the latest changes was users emails were set to @facebook once again without notifying users or getting permission. This was done after a policy of asking users opinions before major changes was introduced. This was clearly ignored. There’s pattern showing and people are getting tired of it.
The drop of Facebook users is not all that bad for social media competitor, Twitter. Twitter on the other hand of Facebook has been growing rapidly as of late. This could largely be due to the fact that Twitter does not over haul its interface in such extremes as Facebook. In fact the changes to the interface make it more easy to use and are not as noticeable. This makes Twitter a user friendly place to communicate. All being said, Twitter is taking advantage of Facebook’s loss.
The drop in Facebook might sound like the death of social media to some users but the fact of the matter is there are other competitors waiting in the shadows to take its place. Of course Facebook will not be going down anytime soon but who is to say in a few years we will not have a repeat of MySpace. Social media is user driven and with Facebook turning its back on what the users want may be the driving force in its demise.