Archived entries for users

Anticipating Facebook Usage in 2013

A new research paper released by Lee Rainie and his team at PewInternet, examined how users engage with Facebook, and how we might expect usage trends to evolve in 2013.1 The study indicates that 61% of users have at some point taken a voluntary break from the social network, and that 27% plan to reduce their time on Facebook this year. The research is instructive when trying to understand Facebook’s advertising revenue growth potential.

The study presents a few key findings about Facebook’s domestic user base growth potential. Foremost, the study gives us a sense of the fluidity of Facebook’s user base in the United States. PewInternet pegged the user base attrition rate at 20%, where users deleted an account they previously held. Concurrently, 8% of US online adults who do not currently have a Facebook account claimed to be interested in joining the social network.

PewInternet also presented findings that illustrate for how long Facebook’s users intended to utilize the social network in 2013. Among 18-29 year old users, only 1% intended to increase their current amount of site usage. 61% anticipated to maintain their current level of usage, while 38% intended to reduce their time spent on the site. Users in the 30-49 year old, and 50+ year old brackets indicated similar intentions.

Anticipated amount of time spent on Facebook in 2013

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Facebook’s Mobile Platform Race

As we previously discussed, in its fourth quarter earnings slides, Facebook for the first time provided color on mobile only user base growth since Q4 2011. Growth in mobile only monthly active users rose to 157 million in the fourth quarter. While the emphasis on mobile only users represents a shift in Facebook’s focus, it is important to remember that Facebook’s mobile only emphasis really started with its purchase of Instagram on April 12, 2012.

It is instructive to contrast the user base growth of both platforms. While Instagram has provided sporadic updates on its user base growth, and it is unclear whether Instagram has reported monthly active users or total registrations, the chart shows that Instagram has been growing quickly, notably without the benefit of Facebook’s network effect on Instagram’s user base growth until at least its acquisition by Facebook at month 18 in the chart.

Facebook (mobile only) and Instagram User Growth

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Facebook’s Mobile Growth in the Fourth Quarter

With the release of Q4 2012 earnings, Facebook opted to release more data to color its mobile user base growth. Not only did the company released its latest mobile monthly active users, but for the first time Facebook also provided metrics for mobile only monthly active users (mobile MAUs), indicating a shift in the company’s focus toward mobile.1

Facebook’s monthly mobile active user base has been growing steadily since the company began providing metrics. Facebook saw 680 million mobile monthly active users in the quarter, an increase of 57% from the year-ago quarter. Although Facebook does not share quarterly mobile daily active users, the company indicated that mobile DAUs exceeded web-based DAUs for the first time in the company’s history.

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An Update on Facebook’s User Base

During its inaugural earnings call, Facebook released new data about its user base. The company saw modest overal growth in monthly and daily active user growth during Q1 and Q2 2012, the company revealed more details about the regional breakdown of its active user base, and mobile active users swelled to a higher percentage of its total user base.1

The quarterly reports also validated my prediction that Facebook’s monthly and daily active user growth in North America was reaching a plateau. The data provided by Facebook illustrates that this has occurred. Whether it will significantly affect revenue growth is less clear, since Facebook continues to innovate its advertising offerings.

In its earnings releases, Facebook provided user base data for the previous two fiscal quarters. The company reported 901 million monthly active users in Q1 2012, an increase of 32.5% from the year ago quarter. In Q2, 2012, Facebook’s monthly active users swelled to 955M, a 29% increase from Q2 2011. The company appears on track to cross the 1 billion active user mark by the end of 2012.

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Continuance - Facebook Analysis by . @jonmilani. Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. Hosted by (mt) Media Temple.