back to article Facebook growth slows in stalkerbase heartlands

Around six million Facebook users in the US recently unplugged their lives from the dominant social network. According to data garnered by Inside Facebook Gold, the Mark Zuckerberg-run company saw its base significantly slip Stateside from 155.2 million users at the beginning of May to 149.4 million by the end of last month. …

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Silver badge

Still worth 500 gersquillion bucks?

(though i am sure that signing up a few million 3rd world types more than makes up for the almost as many 1st world types who say 'meh')

NOT!

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FAIL

Going public in 2012

Just before the exodus really gains momentum. Only a fool would touch FB with actual money.

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Good news for the hold-outs

This is very good news for those of us who, on numerous privacy grounds, decline to use Facebook. I fear that, unless this slowdown continues, we might be heading for future where the ubiquity of social networking means that those who haven't signed up are regarded with suspicion by credit providers, insurers, retailers and, worst of all, governement.

And am I alone in finding it deeply disconcerting that the US government has access to the detailed life history of tens of millions of Britons. How long before a shopping trip to New York requires disclosure of your Facebook sign-on, so that US immigration can asses your suitability to enter the so-called 'Land of the Free'?

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They're welcome to look at my profile

All it revels is a love of taking the piss

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Angel

I took myself off it two months ago..

..and I feel like I've got part of my life back. Not that I spent hours on it, but it felt like there was part of me that had to maintain an online presence. Now, most of me is back firmly in the real world and I'm far happier that way.

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Facepalm

But...

How many people have an account but barely ever actually use it? I probably login about 4 times a year (usually after I find out someone has decided to organise an event solely through facebook). You can have lots of users, but how many of them are actually hitting that minimum 'monthly active' target...

Who'd have thought that it would start to tail off as the fad died. Zuckerberg should go public and start selling his shares while he can!

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Good point. How many users logon each week or month would be a better measure.

Good point. How many users logon each week or month would be a better measure.

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probably people giving up second accounts

It is not unknown here in Canada and the USA for people to have duplicate accounts (even though FB does not permit it). Sarah Palin is one high profile example, but there are many others who do the same thing.

It is probably people loosing their second accounts now that the granularity of FB privacy settings have been improved.

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Anonymous Coward

But without a 2nd account. . .

. . .how could you possibly test what other people can see about you every time Facebook change their so-called privacy settings?

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Early adopter

I was an early adopter - I only signed up for it in order to look at a classmate's holidays snaps, I'd never even heard of it before. I barely touched it for a year or two til it started to get bigger.

I dumped facebook about 6-8 weeks ago. I'd been really pissed off without for a while, and had started to go 2-3 months without actually logging in quite regularly. I mostly used it as a simple way to log into sites. But now I can do that with twitter (which I much prefer) I don't need facebook.

Oddly, the thing that pissed me off most was the iPhone mobile app. Apart from being one of the shoddiest bits of coding not commissioned by a government department, the usability was incredibly poor. And once half of the timeline was taken up by the stupid dickbar telling me about more and more people I had no intention of being friends with, I deleted my account the same night as the upgrade came through.

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Listen To Me!

Things move on, Facebook seemed to be the home for those who needed to share in a 'stream of consciousness' stylee. Using mobes for this never really had a wide enough or instant enough audience . Now we have begun to lose the boundaries between desktop/laptop/netbook and whatever mobes are called this week. Twitter has enabled the terminally verbal to spout in short bursts, no more having to actually think when blogging, no more 'friends' to harvest.

Facebook is becoming something else now, there isn't a bloody advert on telly that doesn't have a companies Facebook page to visit. The money from outfits like Zynga must have peaked and the advertisers move in.

Those with ad-block just don't notice a thing.

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@Elmer Phud

"there isn't a bloody advert on telly that doesn't have a companies Facebook page to visit."

I hear from a mate with links to big ad firms that Facebook lobbies (pays?) ad firms to use Facebook URLs instead of website URLs. Clever strategy. Reminds me of "AOL keyword: blah" at the end of half the ads in the 90s.

Whole thing reminds me of AOL and look how well that turned out. Fickle hordes will move onto something else soon enough, that'll probably require a DNA sample and photocopy of your driving license to sign up to...

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Anonymous Coward

Not too surprised

There's always an understandable tendency for the media to sensationalise take up of the latest tech trend, which in turn drives more people to try it out for the sake of sheer curiosity. The reporting always tends to make whatever-it-is look like a far bigger and more terrifyingly unstoppable steamroller than a calm reading of the figures suggests.

Remember when blogs were the big thing? You could hardly read a "nu meeja" oriented piece without a tedious requoting of how many blogs were started per day. Most blogs inevitably never got beyond two or three posts before the budding authors gave up due to the lack of gratifying feedback. The number that was ever really "active" was a tiny proportion of the total.

Facebook at least has the feedback the ex-blogger narcissists craved, an illusion of active interest in you personally, plus you get to poke about in the lives of ex-acquaintances and complete strangers. But inevitably when the thrill of being noticed (and satisfying yourself you were better off rid of the ex) has worn off, most people have little to say other than to family and close friends, most of which can be accomplished without baring your arse to the world for the profit of one of the more unpleasant characters to have run a "web 2.0 miracle". Facebook does draw together many threads of communication, but when all's said and done, what can you actually DO with it?

I think the high-water mark has come for facebook. With figures stabilising, the number of refuseniks/cant-be-botheredniks starts to look larger and the social pressure and fear of being left out loses its edge, and without massive headline growth the shine starts to wear off. The media will inevitably cash in on facebook further by tearing it apart just as they built it up, and a noticably growing sense of encroachment on privacy will make some people less active or leave altogether. I can imagine that, even for the die-hards, seeing holes start to appear in the carefully woven fabric of your network of "friends" will lessen faith in the facebook ego trip.

I doubt facebook will disappear entirely (although it may given it's shaky reliance on vanity), but like Friendsreunited, blogs, !Yahoo, walled gardens, DMOZ, email etc it will be just another online milestone of diminishing importance unworthy of public comment or speculation, and even fewer tears of regret.

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Mushroom

the sooner...

it goes the way of myspace the better.

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invasion of privacy and viruses

invasion of privacy and viruses is how i sum up facebook to people who ask me about it

when you look at all the recent news about FB it has all been about how new settings/ feature have been quietly turned on to enable more data to be grabbed and shared before you realise

and most of the viruses i have had to clean up off friends pc's i am told by them came from FB (mainly games most seem to think)

never seen the need to share my life with the FB , the world and his dog so never had an account, nor do i plan to

i do have a twitter account but it is locked down and i refuse all followers, just use it to look at a few people

what we are seeing i think is people getting bored with the toy of FB, relialising there is no such thing as a free lunch and working that FB is selling their data to the highest bidder

i noticed the other day the HM GOV plans to allow you to log into government websites with your FB account,

thats great, gift all your personal / medical details to a US company that can be compelled by the FBI to release any data it has on you

it just gets worse

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They did with Fusion IO.

"Just before the exodus really gains momentum. Only a fool would touch FB with actual money."

People pumpung up the share price when there are an increasing number of competitors offering faster products.

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FAIL

Facebook sucks.

It's a massive time sink aimed at 'needy' people who want to feel they have hundreds of friends who are actually mere aquantances - try concentrating on your real friends.

Huge security issues and it's only going to get worse as FB try and 'monetize' by selling YOUR data to the highest bidder.

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FAIL

Fb's bad, needy people, blah blah blah

Much better to not use facebook and sit back judgementally berating it's users, eh?

Facebook is a tool like any other. It has done a lot of things extremely well, some things not so well, and attracts a wide range of people from our diverse world.

I use it, I like it, and with any other tool I apply it in the way that suits me - I keep in touch with my circle of friends, share my interests and keep up-to-date with how other people are getting on. At mid-thirties I have fallen into and out of contact with a large group of people, and fb is a great way to keep a link. I am well aware of what facebook does and what data it collects, and use it accordingly.

I am far from a 'needy' person, I have no want to feel like I have hundreds of friends, and my 'real friends' get the concentration I feel appropriate. And if others choose to use facebook as a way to generate 'hundreds of friends' because they are 'needy', I feel no need to feel superior and mock them.

Next time you think to yourself 'I haven't heard from from Joe Bloggs for years now, I must get in touch' for the 10th time in a year, you might considering using a tool to make it easier. If you don't get such thoughts, you don't need it.

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