Facebook in SA growing, despite dip

2013-04-10 12:40
Facebook. (AP)

Facebook. (AP)

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Cape Town - Statistics that showed a drastic reduction of Facebook users in SA may have been overstated.

A recent survey by social media monitoring company SocialBakers showed that 967 220 Facebook users had not logged on to the site in the preceding six months.

There was an initial conclusion that Facebook was declining among South Africans, but an expert differed, saying that not all the data was being taken into account.

"It's a myth that Facebook usage is dropping in SA. They don't pick up location of mobile sign-ons, so growth is invisible," tweeted Arthur Goldstuck, CEO of technology research firm World Wide Worx.

SocialBakers later did a U-turn on the initial finding, saying that the statistics merely showed users that had become inactive.

"A fluctuation in [monthly average users] both positively and negatively is completely normal across most markets. It can, for example, be affected by holiday seasons or big news events," SocialBakers told mybroadband.


Facebook trend in SA is upward, said Goldstuck, adding that the dip was partly due to Facebook cutting duplicate and fake accounts.

Despite this, there are some users who permanently left the social network, citing privacy policies as the main reason.

"I felt it was intrusive because of my obsessive need for privacy," former Facebook user Beulah Roman told News24.

Despite the social network's policy that user cannot be used by unauthorised individuals, the practice continues, either by users' accounts being compromised or accounts deliberately set up to conduct spamming activities.

"My first profile was hacked and the guy still uses it. So for privacy reasons mostly. Even if you delete people you get hackers that hack your profile. So your personal details aren't always safe. Also, South Africans tell stories about how you're living your life and you hear things that aren't really true and it does cause problems in your personal life," said another former Facebook user Lee-Roy Daniels, who has since migrated to Google's social network.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on:    world wide worx  |  facebook  |  arthur goldstuck  |  social networks

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