Facebook’s marauding march towards 1bn members grabs many headlines but in mature western markets Facebook is losing market share. Last month Facebook lost over 100,000 British members along with a similar number in Russia and Norway. In Facebook’s heartland, the US, the change was greater – six million people deactivated their accounts.
So what is causing this change?
The numbers sound dramatic but I doubt Facebook are overly concerned. Some of this is natural. Facebook have conquered the mature western markets over the past seven years and it is only natural that some early adopters are now looking for a new home that is less mainstream or commercialised.
Another reason is the sheer burden that digital media has placed upon our lives. It interrupts our every move and thought. For that reason some attrition will be due to digital downsizing.
Facebook like Google has attracted a variety of privacy led publicity over the past few years and this is no doubt forcing some people to leave for an environment they trust.
With growth in Asia and South America still charting well for Facebook I doubt the aforementioned numbers will cause much of a panic as they head towards their $100bn IPO. However – looking purely at western markets – with the Google+1 Project looking like an intelligent take on the social network and a host of other headwinds – Facebook will do well to safeguard their current dominance.