Facebook Sheds US Users as Disenchantment in its Home Market Grows
Arrogance in business is never a good thing and it is even worse when you are relying on the goodwill of the end-user (i.e. your membership base) in order to continue to be arrogant. Facebook as long been sawing upon the branch it has been sitting on by refusing to take membership base concerns on-board and adopting a gang-ho attitude when it comes to individual users’ accounts.
That cavalier attitude seems to have finally began to take its toll. Surveys report that for the first time since its inception Facebook’s growth has began to slow and, for the first time over the last eighteen months, its 20 million users a month growth rate has declined for two consecutive months.
Facebook logged just 13.8 million users in April and 11.8 million in May representing a drop of 31% and 41% respectively. The drop is despite the fact that Facebook’s use outside the US is growing with late adopting countries like Brazil, Mexico and Thailand swelling the number of monthly members joining the social network.
Just last week Facebook angered users by launching a face-recognition tool which allowed friends to be tagged on pictures almost be default, without announcing it to its user base in a meaningful way. In addition, Facebook’s ‘nice and easy’ image has been tarnished with a number of ill-advised moves against Google the latest of which made the social network appear to have the mentality of a robber-Baron and the morals to match. Image, on the web is hugely important. Lacking any other kind of person-to-person interaction or any other kind of physical contact, the way your brand is perceived by what it does and how it does it, creates, in the mind of the end-user, either an affinity which can go a long way towards forgiving ‘mishaps’ (and Google gets this almost pitch-perfect right) or a dislike which has little base in actuality but which, nonetheless, guides end-user decisions.Continued on the next page