South Africans are bored with Facebook

Facebook has lost in excess of 238,000, or 3.85% of its users in South Africa over the past three months, according to data from social media monitoring firm, SocialBakers.

The site claims that the social media giant has a 12.63% penetration into the country with 6.191 million users, putting it 32nd in terms of countries with the most users.

Michal Wronski, MD of information analysts, Fuseware, believes that the decline in users is due to social media fatigue and boredom.

“The SocialBakers data is accurate as it pulls directly from the FB API (Application Programming Interface). SA has lost 138,700 people on Facebook in the last four weeks alone (2.24% of its SA user base),” he said.

“I believe this is due to social media fatigue and boredom setting in, as well as the notably decreased quality of home feeds due to a higher injection of brand advertising.”

“Couple this with the many privacy concerns around the usage of Facebook, it’s not difficult to see why many people are beginning to leave the network,” Wronski said.

The online analyst opined that users were being drawn to other social sites including Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram as they provide a “more direct, real-time and less brand-invasive way of accessing the digital social sphere”.

Data from SocialBakers showed the trend in SA to be a recent one as over the past six months, Facebook had acquired 1,051 million users, a rise of 16.99%.

Global trend

Developed countries like the US, the highest ranked country in terms of users with more than 167.43 million, and the UK (6th), also showed a decline of 406,360 and 175,920 users respectively over the past three months, leading to suggestions of saturation.

Over the past month, Facebook lost 668,740 US users, and 946,120 or 2.88% of UK-based users.

Over that period, developing countries like Brazil – which ranks 2nd behind the US in terms of users (201.103 million) – added nearly 1.85 million users, or 2.83%; while India (3rd) gained more than 1.55 million users, up 2.47%.

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South Africans are bored with Facebook