As soon as the new kid on the social media scene tipped up last week, (hello, Google Plus) there was a whole new wave of ‘Facebook is dead,’ type posts surfacing across the web. This included circulation of a rather interesting statistic:-
In May 2011, 100,000 users in the UK deactivated their accounts
Now, that sounds a lot, granted. But let’s put it in perspective. Facebook recently hit 750 million users, according to Techcrunch. That’s more than 10 times the population of the UK! So 100,000 UK accounts deactivating isn’t the apocalyptic event that so many are touting it as.
Granted, it won’t be news that the social media giant is happy about. But it’s not the end of the world for Facebook. With an ‘awesome announcement’ (as Zuckerberg said) due this week, Facebook will be grabbing headlines. It’s widely anticipated that the announcement will be related to a new Skype powered video chat function. That would provide an additional layer of functionality in common with Google Plus.
Even if Google Plus does well, as I expect it to, that needn’t be at the expense of Facebook. Users are tied to social networks not only because of the platforms themselves, but the communities and even apps within. 10% of Facebook users are hooked on Farmville, for example. We all have friends on the site and many of us use it as a means of keeping in touch with people. It’s unlikely that a mass exodus would take place when Facebook has already established itself so firmly as the leading social networking site.
It doesn’t appear (yet, at least) as thought Google Plus has a solution targeted directly at businesses, like Facebook has with its Pages. Of course, Google has Places and AdWords and a host of other business focused tools. They’re not integrated yet though and I do expect that Google will provide a little more for businesses (in order to compete with Facebook) soon though. Businesses have invested a lot of time and effort into building their communities though and I can’t see them jumping ship any time soon.
So, no, I don’t think Facebook is dying. It will keep much of its existent user base. I think, though, that it will have to keep adding functionality and improving its service to attract new users, given that it is no longer new or novelty.
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About the Author
Stacey joined us in 2009 as a junior copywriter; now she's a recognised figure on the global speaking circuit, having wowed audiences in the UK, Europe and US - including at MozCon 2014. She leads our search team and works with clients to deliver high-level campaign strategies.Visit Stacey's Page
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