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Facebook loses close to 1 million SA users

Facebook loses close to 1 million SA users

Social network giant Facebook has lost close to one million South Africa users over the past three months, according to data from social media monitoring firm, SocialBakers.

South Africa ranks 32 on SocialBaker’s list of countries with the most Facebook users at 5.537 million, and a penetration rate of  11.30%.

However, the social network has shed as many as 922,940 users over the past three months alone, a decline of 16.67%. This ranks the country fourth, behind Japan, South Korea and Nigeria, in percentage terms out of those countries listed in the top 50.

SocialBakers noted that while its data reflected a drop in monthly active users in SA, that did not mean that users had left Facebook altogether.

Over the past week alone, Facebook has lost 289,240 South African users, or 5.22%, but it should be noted that the Easter holiday period may have played a role in these numbers.

Facebook SA stats April 2013

Facebook SA stats April 2013

Michal Wronski, MD of information analysts, Fuseware, believes that Facebook has lost its novelty over time.

Wronski pointed to four underlying trends.

  • SA and global youth are shifting towards platforms that offer a simpler real-time interface, with Whatsapp and 2go leading the pack locally, alongside Twitter;

  • Facebook has lost its novelty over time – the early adopters are now moving on to new platforms that are more exciting and “exclusive”;

  • Facebook has made noticeable moves to inject brand and advertising content into news feeds, which has had strong negative feedback;

  • Facebook’s mobile experience on smart phones has had glitches and performance issues, and as more people use social media on their smart phones they are opting for apps with a better user experience.

However, Wronski stressed that Facebook is also innovating quite rapidly, especially with the release of its Facebook Home Android integration, which was announced on 4 April 2013.

“This makes it difficult to predict how the market will move in the future. However, as more people leave the network, its value decreases exponentially according to Metcalfe’s law, meaning the downward trend may actually accelerate,” Wronski said.

Top of the list for users, the United States saw 3.714 million users leave Facebook over the past three months, a loss of 2.25% to 163.07 million – but in second place, Brazil accrued 1.864 million users, to 66.55 million.

In third and fourth spot, India and Indonesia lost 1.128 million and 4.35 million users, respectively, while Japan, in 20th position, lost as much as 30.30% or 3.981 million users to 12.911 million, with a penetration rate of 10.14%.

In Africa, top ranked country, Egypt (19), gained 146,240 users or 1.17% to 13.01 million and a penetration rate of 16.17%; while Nigeria (35) shipped as many as 1.28 million users or 23.89% to 5.357 million.

More on Facebook

SA Facebook users in alarming decline

Gareth is the editor at BusinessTech. Gareth was previously the ICT Editor at BusinessLive/I-Net Bridge. Gareth holds a degree in Journalism from Rhodes University....
Join the Conversation
  • they went back to

  • Cause they emigrated? Bwaahaha

  • facebook sucks..i know a lot of ppl are either just moving to twitter or just straight up deactivating their accounts…

  • The advertisement on newsfeed are so irritating!

    • If you’re using Chrome as a browser, just install Adblock. Never have to worry about ads in your feed again. If you’re on mobile, yeah – I feel your pain.

      • Andrewbr

        Use Firefox on mobile and you can also use Adblock as well, so resolves mobiles as well. I use Firefox on all of my devices with adblock.

        • I stopped using it on the PC because it was a memory hog. That was before Chrome stepped up and took the title. How do you find Firefox on your mobile? I tried a while ago (a few months, I think) and wasn’t too impressed

          • dew

            That is weird, Chrome actualy uses alot more RAM than Firefox on the PC, perhaps you have too much addons and stuff on it, or something….

          • Nah. When I originally moved over to Chrome, it was a few years back – before the middle-age bloat hit it. Now, Chrome is painful, but I use Adblock and The Great Suspender to keep it in check.

      • Is it available in Chrome web store?

        • Yeah, just search under Adblock

          • I got it, it works flawlessly!

          • Nice! It should reduce your data use as well as speed up your browser speed. Coupled with the fact that it’s so destressing to look at a page and not be hit with a barrage of flashing banners – ah bliss!

  • How accurate are these stats …I wonder if these stats look at whether a users didnt log on (dormant accounts) or they actually deactivated their accounts ..theres a big difference.

    • The analysts we spoke to say the Social Baker stats are accurate – the platform pulls figures from the Facebook API. A lot of digital marketers contest the figures, though.

  • Facebook’s death is close. After they implement paid messaging worldwide it will be a downhill slope.

  • Tessa Kerrich – Walker

    This article makes it sound like hundreds of thousands of SA FB users deactivated their accounts which is incorrect. It’s just usage stats. This only becomes apparent halfway into the article.
    Don’t irritate your readers – you’ll alienate them and then your user ratings will go down.

  • Maie Crumpton

    I am writing to you from Socialbakers and it is a great pity that you did not contact us. We could have easily told you that our data does not show that Facebook is losing users. What our data shows is a drop in Monthly Active Users.

    This is the percentage of Facebook users who were active within a 30 day period (i.e. logged into their account). Just because somebody does not log into their account over 30 days does not mean that they have left Facebook or that Facebook has lost users. There are plenty of people who might not be regular users, i.e. Those of an older age demographic might only go online occasionally to look at photos of their grandkids. A fluctuation in MAU’s both positively and negatively is completely normal across most markets. It can, for example, be affected by holiday seasons or big news events.

    So just to sum up, It is absolutely not true to say that our data shows that Facebook has ‘lost users’. It is, however, true to say that a percentage of Facebook users were less active over a six month period. We hope this helps and will welcome your future enquiries! Kind regards

    • cloudgazer

      do your stats include mobile?

  • Muhammad

    Facebook will lose everything, they insult Islam by allowing anti Islam pages, and refusing to remove them. Many Muslim users now are supporting alternatives like

  • straight

    Facebook is for losers

  • johnno

    I think another factor is the gaming side, and many people have stopped playing best Casino , which is very popular, because the playing field is being narrowed and bonuses and incentives being removed lots of people has become disheartened and left .

  • Witek

    More and more people understood that Facebook is nothing else then spy agency

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