Are we falling out of love with Facebook?
Social network deserted by millions as analysts claim 'we're suffering from Facebook fatigue'
IS FACEBOOK the next MySpace? Analysts have questioned if Mark Zuckerberg's website will suffer the same fate as the shrinking social network after independent data revealed Facebook is losing millions of users per month in its biggest markets.
In the last month Facebook has lost 6m US visitors, a 4 per cent fall, according to analysis firm SocialBakers. In the UK, 1.4m fewer users checked in last month, a drop of 4.5 per cent, The Guardian notes. Users in Canada, Spain, France, Germany and Japan are also logging off.
New media specialist Ian Maude of Enders Analysis explains the risk of Facebook turning into MySpace is "relatively small... but that is not to say it isn't there."
"The problem is that, in the US and UK, most people who want to sign up for Facebook have already done it. There is a boredom factor where people like to try something new," he says.
Professor Larry Neale, a social media expert at Queensland University of Technology Business School in Australia, believes users are suffering from "Facebook fatigue". "Maybe when they started on Facebook they were in university but now they're in the workforce and they don't have the time to spend on it any more, or they don't think it's the right way to be spending that time," he tells the International Business Times.
While Facebook's figures fall, alternative sites are thriving. Path, the mobile-based social network founded by former Facebook employee Dave Morin, which restricts users to 150 online friends, is gaining 1m users per week. Instagram, the photo sharing site recently acquired by Zuckerberg, is also gaining young users, the Guardian notes.
But not everyone is 'un-friending' Facebook. SocialBakers' figures show the site is growing quickly in South America, with monthly users in Brazil up 6 per cent in the last month to 70m. India has seen a four per cent rise in users to 64m. Facebook has declined to comment on the data.