100,000 Brits log off Facebook for good….a sign of things to come?

After getting into work this morning, cup of tea in hand, I sat down to read the news. A headline instantly caught my eye:

“Facebook fatigue sets in for 100,000 Brits: Users bored with site deactivate accounts amid privacy fears”

Uh oh.

Reading into the story, the dramatic fall was due a combination of fears over privacy and general boredom. So is this a sign of things to come?

Privacy

I’ll make no bones about it, Facebook is notorious for constantly changing settings, tweaking user’s accounts and introducing new features and new services without announcing it first. This gets my goat.

From recent stories about instant face recognition and tagged pictures, to personalised friend profile adverts, the list is endless. Over the past year I’ve seen Facebook change the way news is reported in streams, it’s changed how pictures of you and your friends are displayed, there was the furore over privacy settings being changed overnight – not to mention how difficult Facebook makes it to completely deactivate your account. Actually come to think of it they tweaked business pages last year, making it impossible for us to reply to posts unless our friends changed their settings to allow their ‘liked’ businesses to reply to them. For three days it caused us no end of bother.

So with that in mind, are we right to be scared of the decline? Thinking about it I really don’t think so..

There’s no alternative!

Let’s look at this logically – we’re social creatures. We like speaking to our friends online, seeing their pictures, chatting to each other and seeing what they’re up to – that’s why Facebook is such a global beast.

There are few alternatives for the personal profile. Twitter is great for short, snappy, timely thoughts, but it’s more of a news and information gathering tool. I can see the popularity of Twitter increase over the coming months and activity on Facebook decline, but I can’t see it challenging Facebook as the #1 social networking site.

Myspace – well that’s more for bands and up and coming artists.

Bebo – that’s died a death.

LinkedIn – more for professional networking.

In fact, there is little to stop Facebook’s continued global dominance in the near future. I keep reading about the rise of “GoogleMe“, the next contender to the Facebook crown – but information about it is very scarce…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/jul/14/google-me-facebook

http://mashable.com/2010/11/29/google-social-2011/

Until more is known about this new initiative (currently named ‘Project +1’) I’m happy to stick to using Facebook to communicate with customers.

Like it or not, social media is here to stay. Rather than worry about declining Facebook numbers, I’m more worried about staying ahead of the game. As soon as the ‘next best thing’ comes along, you better get on board – because you can be sure your customers will too….

What do you think? Are you worried about the decline in Facebook’s popularity?

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2 responses to “100,000 Brits log off Facebook for good….a sign of things to come?

  1. I think the FB decline in US and UK is a blip. Majority of teenagers and 20s, the younger demographic are on FB. They will continue to use it as their main web presence and their younger siblings will follow them. FB has been in North America and the UK for a while but its not yet made the same impact in the rest of Europe let alone the major developing countries. If each country get towards 50% user base then I can see no reason why FB won’t top 1 billion users in the coming months.

    I like your analysis of there is no credible alternative. I think instead of the decline of FB the trend we may be seeing is the decline of the traditional website. Companies will migrate their shopping and customer service into FB backed up by Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. For many users of the web FB is all they will need or use.

    Where will this leave the once mighty Google. Perhaps its them rather that FB who should be concerned.

    Nick
    The Virtual Zone

  2. Hi Nick – great points, well made. In the past few months I’ve gone past no end of advertising hoardings with the facebook/[company name] on…Bacardi, London Pride, Audi, Mcdonalds etc etc. I think the company website’s days are numbered too – why go to all the bother of searching them out if you can become a friend and take part in special deals and competitions?

    Also, just thinking, if 100,000 people logged off last month, how many of them are GCSE, AS Level and A-level students who’ve deactivated temporarily during exam season, only to reactivate this month/July?

    Just a thought!

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