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Facebook Fatigue? That’s Sooo Last Month!

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
22 February 2008

The boffins at Nielsen have put out a report showing that social networking use has seen a drop in user numbers for the first time in ages – and it’s getting picked up by a lot of major news outlets, including the Guardian, the Times, Telegraph, Forbes and even the Mirror. But are the numbers a good indication of the "Facebook Fatigue" they’re all hailing them to be? The answer is a definite maybe…

Ignoring the fact that Facebook seems to be bearing the brunt of the reporting (despite MySpace seeing the same drop in numbers), the numbers match up pretty well with the numbers that Facebook gives advertisers as part of the Social Ads platform – the same numbers I’ve been basing my graphs on below. If indeed these numbers do correlate well (remember, this report is for the period DECEMBER to JANUARY), then the next set of numbers that Nielsen publicise should show an even bigger rise to compensate. Need the numbers? Okay, here they are…

According to the Facebook Social ads platform:

Active users on December 6th 2007 – 7,887,620
Active users on January 7th 2008 – 7,655,940a drop of roughly 3%
Active users on February 4th 2008 – 8,683,020a rise of roughly 13%

So all being even, come this time next month Nielsen should be hailing the rebirth of Facebook…!

Oh, here’s the graph for those that like it visual!

Facebookfatigue

NB: It’s interesting to see MySpace numbers cited as 5.1 million users, when reports from other outlets have pegged it at over 10 million in the past. I’m inclined to lean towards believing Nielsen in this instance!

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