According to The Guardian, Facebook saw the first monthly drop in traffic since it became the largest social network in the U.K. As Henry Blodget points out, looking at this at a month by month basis is completely misleading. Facebook has grown a whopping 712 percent year over year for the month of January. This is simply a seasonal decrease and I’m sure we will see continued growth from January into February.
When looking at the picture overall though, there may be some slowing in the social network space as I pointed out on the Social Times earlier this month. Even still, Facebook still has plenty of room for growth and there are simply short-term signs in slowing growth. Using the monthly metrics is highly misleading and is like day trading in the stock market and using it as an indicator for long-term growth. It simply won’t work.
I believe that we are going to see continued growth in this space for the next 12- to 24-months and social networks transform into social platforms and OpenSocial attempts to make a significant impact in the industry. If we see growth continue to slow over the next couple months I would begin to get concerned. For now it’s a minor blip.
I’ve received the following statement from Facebook:
“The number of users for Facebook continues to climb in the UK. Our internal monthly active user numbers rose between December and January in the UK and are now at more than 8.3 million. Facebook tracks active monthly users, rather than registered user or unique visitors. Active users reflect those who have used the site in the past 30 days.”