If you’ve been doing your rounds of the social media news then you’ve already seen the influx of stories that Facebook has been loosing users by the droves with some claiming it’s as much at 10 million users in the US. I was taken aback by the numbers in these posts I was seeing so I decided to do some digging of my own. I had a look at the quarterly report published by Facebook to their investors and this is what they said about their number of users:
First Quarter 2013 Facebook Operational Highlights
Daily active users (DAUs) were 665 million on average for March 2013, an increase of 26% year-over-year.
Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.11 billion as of March 31, 2013, an increase of 23% year-over-year.
Mobile MAUs were 751 million as of March 31, 2013, an increase of 54% year-over-year.
Facebook currently has 195 million users in the US alone, that’s over 50% of the total US population! Yes, it is true that Facebook has seen a drop in unique visitors from March 2012 to March 2013, this is a drop from 152.8 million to 142.1 million unique hits, and this is where so many bloggers got their 10 million figure from for those eye catching headlines. But as Benjamin Disraeli once famously said, “There are 3 kinds of lies in the world; lies, damned lies and statistics”. So looking at the data it is evident that these losses are strictly on the desktop site, if you look at the mobile user numbers you see a ridiculous spike from 62 million to 99 million in the same time frame. So the truth of the matter is that Facebook hasn’t actually lost 10 million users, they have in fact gained 26.3 million users.
This goes with the trend I spoke about in my last post about Facebook (here) about the rise of mobile users to access the page and how Facebook is using that information to target more and better ads towards mobile users and how that’s actually working. But this piece isn’t about that, it’s about those bloggers and writers who write posts without doing proper research on a topic, or hide the true information to reach their desired conclusion. I have and will always speak out against false sensationalist headlines and those who perpetrate them. We might not work for the New York Times but we do have an obligation to give you, the reader, the best possible information and the most informed opinion on a subject.