Facebook Loses 6 Million Users In US
Many of you may have found this very article via the social juggernaut that is the Facebook. In fact, over 56% of the Update’s traffic comes from Facebook users, where posts are circulated, shared and gain momentum. Not much, but some measurable momentum. But has Facebook itself run out of momentum?
But last month, for the very first time, Facebook posted a loss in users over the course of a single month. In May, six million Americans deleted their accounts, in addition to other massive chunks of users in Canada, Australia and in Russia. The ultimate goal of Facebook is 700 million users around the globe, a benchmark that is a part of establishing itself in the world’s social networking fabric before going public next spring.
The goal is still very likely to happen. In fact, the 700 million mark is inevitable. Despite the net loss in the US, Facebook still added 11.8 million users in May around the world, and added 13 million the month before. There are an estimated 150 million active users in the US, over 50% of whom check their Facebook every single day. Other social networks experts say that the May drop in the US and Canada was the result of college students deleting their accounts for the month to prepare for finals. Many expect the number to jump up even more in June when those accounts are renewed.
Be warned; Facebook isn’t going anywhere. Unlike the Myspace fiasco, Facebook has no real alternative. Twitter is much less invasive and requires much less personal information, but lacks the easy and integrated photo sharing and storing, an easy to read history (like a ‘wall’) and other features. And heaven knows what people would do if they lacked the ability to electronically poke one another?
The question is not whether or not anyone should delete their Facebook outright. Instead, people have to examine what they are doing with it. Personally, my Facebook is primarily for my blog, though I occasionally use it to contact old chums and friends. Without that need, I would probably delete my Facebook. But after helping my brother delete his (Wes numbered as one of the six million to delete last month) account, the difficulty of doing so is curiously difficult and confusing. It is a process which requires numerous log ins, creepy and unprofessional pleading my Facebook (including showing pictures of your friends, saying “Joe Will Miss You!” as if you were moving to Scandinavia) and a long period where any contact with Facebook.com will reactivate your account whether you’d like to or not.
What does Facebook really do? More interestingly, what does Facebook do that cannot be achieved by basic email or other, less invasive and intrusive social media platforms? Should we all go back to MySpace, or adopt Twitter? Do we really need social media, in its current form and with its current goals, at all? Are there better ways to present the information we’d like to share without exposing things we’d rather not? Ask Anthony Weiner what he thinks the purpose and platform of Twitter is for. Then ask ten other people. You’ll hear ten different answers, I’d wager, and all will probably be different from your own opinion. I’ll keep it to make the Update more accessible to YOU (dear, dear reader) but what other possibilities make it worthwhile?
Thank you for using Facebook and Twitter to read this.
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