Facebook down in developed markets

2013-01-14 14:33
Facebook's numbers have taken a beating over the festive season, with a significant decline. (AP)

Facebook's numbers have taken a beating over the festive season, with a significant decline. (AP)

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Cape Town - Facebook's numbers took a beating over the festive season, with a significant decline, according industry tracker SocialBackers.

According to a report published in the Guardian, the social network giant lost some 600 000 users in December, representing a decline of 1.86%.

While the number may seem small when compared against Facebook's one billion users, some have speculated that the company may have reached a plateau in the UK.

Social network use is predicted to continue its upward path with EMarketer saying that there were 1.43 billion social network users at the end of 2012, a 19.2% increase over 2011 figures.

According to Nielsen's State of the Media: The Social Media Report 2012, the growth of mobile devices continues to drive social media.

The report found that mobile apps accounted for over 63% of year-on-year growth in social networks.

Some analysts have speculated that if Facebook's growth stagnated in the developed markets like the UK, the company would have to rely more heavily on developing markets in Asia, Latin America and Africa for revenue-generating growth.

This view may have some credibility as SocialBackers statistics show a net loss of Facebook subscribers in the key markets of the US (down 0.23%) and Canada (-1.08%) in addition to the UK in the last three months.

In SA, Facebook use declined 3.62% in the last three months, though off a low base penetration of 12.6%.

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