Friday, 22 February 2008

Facebook showing signs of decline?

A report by the BBC says that Facebook has shown a decline in users in the UK for the first time, dropping 5% to 8.5m users in January. Data comes from monthly research by Nielsen Online who started tracking usage of this popular social networking site in July 2006.

Analysts say that is was inevitable that the site would reach a peak at some point and the UK version now has 700% more users than a year ago. However, others say that the appeal of Facebook is starting to wear off as its popularity grows and becomes more ‘mainstream’, driving regular users to other newer sites. In the same period, UK users of MySpace also fell by 5% and Bebo by 2%.

This changing trend may just be a short term ‘blip’ and more will be revealed over coming months. This story also comes out at the same time as concerns are voiced about the inability to remove user profiles from Facebook and concerns about privacy are voiced as data is used for advertising purposes, even if a user no longer wishes to participate in the site. There's more coverage of this story from the New York Times here.

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