I've written loads of articles about how Facebook is losing millions of users in the US and UK. Last year this decline in Facebook users was seen to hit Ireland. One recent and slightly alarmist report by Princeton University suggested that Facebook could lose up to 80% of it's users by 2017. There will always be statistical fluctuations, coupled with the fact that Facebook has hit saturation point, it is increasingly hard for the social network to continue to grow any further, so stagnation and even decline is perhaps inevitable, to some extent anyway.
However I must admit I was slightly surprised when I read that on-line entrepreneur and serial-social-media-early-adopter Nial Harbison recently announced (okay it was a few months ago, I only saw the article recently!) that he was de-activating his Facebook account. As a long term advocate of all things social media and Facebook in particular, I was surprised to hear this news.
Mr Harbison wrote on his blog that his reasons for leaving Facebook were:
There are a number of reasons I'm leaving and they include…
- The news-feed has just gotten boring
- Facebook has moved from being a great social network to a marketing platform
- The people I interact with there are no longer relevant to me.
- I waste a huge amount of time on Facebook
The main one is the 4th one. Facebook have teams of 100s of engineers dedicated to keeping me “sticky” on the site. That little red alert pulls me in 40/50 times per day but the content and things I am doing there are boring. I go to interact with friends but end up on Buzzfeed, Business Insider or doing other things that waste my time.
Perhaps not the most damning verdict on Facebook but if a Social Media advocate is willing to quit the Social Network, then perhaps anyone can leave.
A recurring theme I am noticing is that people feel that there are too many ads on Facebook now, too much marketing going on in general. I always felt that the "suggested posts" cluttering up my news feed was a really risky move in terms of annoying their user base. The previous ads, which lived off to the right of the news feed, were a lot less intrusive. However I read recently that in the next user interface revamp, Facebook will be removing the advertising from news feeds again, which seems a sensible decision in my opinion.
There are numerous reasons why you should not concentrate all of your digital marketing efforts on any one strand or branch of your on-line presence. Your Website should always remain as a hub, absolutely central to all of your on-line efforts.
Read about our Digital Marketing Services here.