Facebook Saw Decline in Active Usage Over 2014, Survey Says
Facebook is still the world’s largest social network with more than one billion users worldwide. However the way people are using the social network is gradually changing. A new survey shows that Facebook was the only big social network among eight others which saw a decline in rate of people actively using the site per month over 2014.
Pinterest and Tumblr are the top two networks that experienced huge increase in active usage. In last year, number of active users on Pinterest rose by 97 percent while Tumblr saw an increase by 95 percent. At the same time, Facebook saw a decline in active usage by 9 percent, according to Global Web Index (GWI), a research firm that publishes trends in digital consumption by interviewing 170,000 Internet users in 32 markets.
The drop in Asia Pacific region appears to be the most. For example, the drop is 12 percent in China where social networks like WeChat and Qzone are dominating other social networks in terms of activity.
Many people use Facebook on their smartphones which might be the reason why they are not doing as much activity on the site as they once did. Small screens leave little room for writing long comments or sharing thoughts in a post. Most of the people simply Like a photo or two, browse their news feed and leave.
In fact, GWI reports that around 40% of Facebook users said they had “browsed their newsfeed for updates without posting or commenting on anything” in the last month.
In another report published by research firm Piper Jaffray earlier in October 2014, it was found that teens favored Instagram over Facebook, and Facebook saw largest decline in usage by teens in last year. This was also a factor that has caused the activity drop over the year, as seen by GWI.
Despite of experiencing a drop in active usage across the world and not just in a specific region, Facebook continues to be the most popular social network outside China. 81 percent of the total Internet users are found on Facebook and many of them are regular visitors; more than half of Facebook’s active users were logging in more than once a day in 2014.
On mobile, Facebook is the most popular app but Snapchat saw the fastest growth in 2014 with active usage growing 57 percent. 41 percent of adult Internet users said in GWI survey that they regularly use the app.
GWI’s head of trends Jason Mander believes lack of activity doesn’t mean Facebook is being abandoned. “Rather, it’s that people are using Facebook less intensively or actively than before,” writes Mander in the report. People are still coming back to “look at things” so Facebook can still serve them ads and maintain a steady revenue.