Facebook has lost millions of users per month in its biggest markets, independent data suggests, I ask isn’t that inevitable now there are many other outlets to stalk as alternative social networks attract the attention of those looking for fresh online playgrounds.
As Facebook prepares to update investors on its performance in the first three months of the year, with analysts forecasting revenues up 36% last year, studies suggest that its expansion in the US, UK, and other major European countries has peaked.
In the last month, the world’s largest social network has lost 6m US visitors, a 4% fall, according to analysis firm SocialBakers. In the UK, 1.4m fewer users checked in last month, a fall of 4.5%. The declines are sustained. In the last six months, Facebook has lost nearly 9m monthly visitors in the US and 2m in the UK.
Users are also switching off in Canada, Spain, France, Germany, and Japan, where Facebook has some of its biggest followings. A spokeswoman for Facebook declined to comment.
But in developed markets, other Facebook trackers are reporting declines. Analysts at Jefferies bank have developed an algorithm that interfaces directly with Facebook software and it “suggests user levels in [the first quarter] may have declined from peak”, according to a recent note.
Jefferies saw global numbers peak at 1.05bn a month in January, before falling by 20m in February. Numbers rose again in April. The network has now lost nearly 2m visitors in the UK since December, according to research firm Nielsen, with its 27m total flat on a year ago.