Facebook’s traffic

The web is abuzz this morning with news of Facebook’s traffic, with most headlines focusing on the 10% decline in US unique visitors from March to April.

However, as the chart below shows, year on year traffic still grew at 56%.

The interesting question therefore is whether the decline in uniques is being covered by the increase in activity per user. If it is then the news isn’t all bad and you could argue we are just watching the novelty value wear off as the community coalesces around a core group of heavy users. The growth in uniques might then return once the tire kickers have all left.

However due to the different time periods (unique visitor decline is month on month, traffic growth year on year) the data doesn’t allow us to answer the question. Given that Facebook saw a growth in uniques from Feb to March that was bigger than the March to April decline the balance of evidence we have suggests that Facebook is still in good health.

The stats don’t look so good for Myspace though.

From the perspective of our investment in WAYN I hope this is more evidence of the shift in activity towards sector or niche focused socnets.

  • It’s always such a shame these companies aren’t publicly listed. It would have been nice to short Facebook stock from 2-3 months ago – this was very predictable.

    Most people I know are growing bored of Facebook and have grown irritated by the constant event announcements and dodgy friend requests. It really does lose its luster after the initial excitement of building your social graph fades.

    Unfortunately for social networks, they are by definition social. This means subject to the same social fashions and trends like bars or nightclubs. Highly exclusive social networks (online private members clubs) are probably next.

  • It’s always such a shame these companies aren’t publicly listed. It would have been nice to short Facebook stock from 2-3 months ago – this was very predictable.

    Most people I know are growing bored of Facebook and have grown irritated by the constant event announcements and dodgy friend requests. It really does lose its luster after the initial excitement of building your social graph fades.

    Unfortunately for social networks, they are by definition social. This means subject to the same social fashions and trends like bars or nightclubs. Highly exclusive social networks (online private members clubs) are probably next.

  • Alx, I agree with you this was somewhat predictable.

    So if I am not able to extract my address book from Facebook and people start deleting their accounts then what happens to my contacts?

    Nic, I think niche is the way it is all going to go. They can also monetize their traffic better. Perhaps the growth of LinkedIn is a good indication, though not sure if it is a fair comparison.

  • Alx, I agree with you this was somewhat predictable.

    So if I am not able to extract my address book from Facebook and people start deleting their accounts then what happens to my contacts?

    Nic, I think niche is the way it is all going to go. They can also monetize their traffic better. Perhaps the growth of LinkedIn is a good indication, though not sure if it is a fair comparison.