Facebook Fatigue Watch: U.S. Feb 08 Down, But Is It a Trend?


Facebook’s number of visitors fell again in February 2008, according to compete.com. This follows a decline in January.

facebook-visitor-stats-feb-08.png

TechCrunch’s February 22 post, “Facebook Fatigue? Visitors Level Off In the U.S.” noted the January 2008 drop in visitors. It spawned a lot of discussion along two broad lines:

From where I sit, Facebook is taking a lot of positive steps to improve the user experience. More controls are being put on Facebook apps. Users can easily clean up their apps. There will be other moves.

I still think there is going to be natural attrition as well. The whole media-fueled rush to join Facebook was a boon to the company in the latter half of the year. But a lot of people who joined were there to experiment with it and see what all the hub bub was about. It’s not surprising that many of these folks are disengaging. It’s a natural market phenomenon.

As for the seasonality, it is entirely possible. The graphic below is from comScore, courtesy of the TechCrunch post. Notice how Jan 07 and Feb 07 both were lower, just like this year. One big difference – Facebook’s growth was so gangbusters in 2007 that you expected it to go on for quite a while. The drop so far in 2008 feels like the momentum stopped.

What do you think?  Trend or seasonal effect?

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About Hutch Carpenter
Chief Scientist Revolution Credit

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