Friday, February 22, 2008

Facebook Users In Decline

Figures from Nielsen Online in the United Kingdom show a 5% drop in the number of Facebook users between December and January, with a similar fall for social networking websites MySpace and Bebo.

It's the first time in 17 months that Facebook has recorded a drop, and figures in Australia show a similar pattern.

Users fell 5% to 8.5 million in January from 8.9 million in December, according to data from Nielsen Online.

This was the first drop in user numbers since July 2006 when Nielsen began compiling data on the site.

Nic Howell, deputy editor of industry magazine New Media Age, said the site was no longer as popular among its core audience of young people.

". . . when major corporations start profiles on Facebook, its brand is devalued, driving its core user base into the arms of newer and more credible alternatives," he said.

"Facebook was never going to be able to carry on growing the way it has, and a lot of people - especially those who've been using it heavily - are now starting to get Facebook fatigue," said Nielsen Online analyst Alex Burmaster.

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