This weekend saw the BBC decry Facebook – with an article citing the “8 reasons” the pioneering social network has peaked. We’re not sure if we agree with their stance – many of their points feel generic.
GDPR featured. This is likely to affect all media owners – whether they collect email addresses from competition entrants or track our actions via our smartphone apps. We know from our QT research that only a quarter of Brits (27%) claim to understand what GDPR is and how it affects them, and a further 28% have no opinion on it at all. This will, obviously, change as May hits.
Fake news, disinformation and public shaming from former executives were also cited in the BBC article as driving forces behind the platform’s downfall. Just as #StopFundingHate is aimed at particular press titles, the social network is experiencing a backlash befitting of it’s teenage years. However, the anti fake news movement and brand safety concerns reflect wider scrutiny of online platforms – whether its from murky trading, lack of protection from illegal or harmful content, or scepticism around the value of influence.
It feels somewhat unfair to pin this squarely on Zuckerberg.
The undeniable truths for Facebook? A concerning drop in users and engagement – with US stats pivotal proof-points. Upon closer inspection, the drop noted was 1.85% of the overall Facebook population in the North American market. Millions of users, yes, but still a drop in the ocean compared to the site’s overall reach.
Time spent on a daily basis is also down. The brand is acting to combat this with their latest timeline change, changing focus from ‘news’ to ‘you’, but if this is enough to reverse behavioural shifts remains to be seen.