Facebook’s popularity slides in UK and US

Almost a 5 per cent drop in the UK...
Darren Allan

April 29, 2013

Facebook is on the wane – at least in developed nations which have had the social network on the go for a long time now, such as the UK and US.

Back in September of last year, Facebook hit 1 billion worldwide users, a pretty incredible milestone.

However, all is not rosy in Zuckerberg’s social garden.

The latest figures on visitors in the UK, as compiled by analytics firm SocialBakers (via the Guardian) show a drop of 1.4 million active users last month, a slide of almost 5 per cent.

Previously we have heard noises about Facebook plateauing in the most developed nations, but this isn’t just a slowdown, rather it’s a sizeable and worrying slide.

The picture is almost as gloomy in the States, with 6 million people abandoning Facebook over there, a 4 per cent drop. And this latest drop comes on top of a sustained downward trend over the last six months (pretty much since the billion mark was hit) – since then, Facebook has actually lost 2 million monthly users in the UK, and 9 million in the US.

The fact is that in these countries, there are few people left who can possibly join the social network, with the vast majority of those who are connected, and interested in the social media world, already hooked up.

And some existing users are apparently getting bored of Facebook, and looking to other social outlets to fulfil their needs – such as Instagram which has seen a definite surge in uptake among younger users.

There are still concerns over Facebook’s long-term monetisation and profitability prospects, although the social network is doing its best to address these concerns. It is particularly concentrating on the mobile side of the network – as we’ve seen lately with the release of the Facebook Home app, and the HTC First (the phone preloaded with Home).

Apparently the next fiscal results will see that Facebook’s profit is up, so reckon analysts, and up considerably which is some good news for the social network. Facebook is still becoming more popular in developing nations, and South America in particular.

So it isn’t all doom and gloom, although the size of the drop-off in the UK and US has to be a worrying factor for Zuckerberg.


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