Some Facebook activity down, but video views are up
Current research shows that the velocity at which Facebook was growing in 2010 has decelerated rapidly and that common activities like installing apps are down globally, yet Facebook is now the third most popular website for video viewing, even more so than Hulu.
Some activities have become less popular
According to Global Web Index, between the summer of 2009 and today, activities like messaging friends has dropped 14.8 percent in America and 7.4 percent worldwide while joining a Facebook group and searching for new contacts have dropped nearly 13 percent, even installing an app has dropped ten percent and instant messaging nearly eight percent.
Some will speculate that interest is waning in the social network, but it is our belief that with any new social network, there is a certain amount of “set up” that goes into grooming a user’s account and when users feel established on any social network or website, the grooming stops and they use the tools at hand as they are. It’s like getting a new smartphone- you play in the app store for the first few weeks, then you simply use the device as it is without continued research and you’ll add an app as you hear about it, but you’re already set up and aren’t in discovery mode anymore. The same goes for social networks.
Social networks’ growth paths
eMarketer points to the deceleration of the social networks’ growth, reporting that Facebook will grow only 13.4 percent in 2011 compared to 39 percent in 2010 and 90.3 percent in 2009. Twitter’s growth path was similar with a 293 percent growth spurt in 2009 but 2011 growth is only projected to be 26 percent. Growth in America is relatively stagnant for the social networks, leading some analysts to proclaim the two sites have hit a plateau, using negative terminology to describe the two media sites. It is arguable, on the other hand, that it is much easier to grow a small group of people than a large group and that comparing the actual numbers rather than the percentages proves the sites are still growing rapidly and it is arguable that they are both now mainstream.
The oft overlooked sweet spot of Facebook is…
The growing sweet spot that is often overlooked on Facebook is video. Global Web Index reports that only one user activity increased recently and that is uploading video to Facebook which was up five percent in America and 7.6 percent globally. Facebook has been the largest photo site in America for some time and according to comScore is now the third largest video site online with projections that it will rise even higher. In July 2011, there were 51.5 million unique viewers that watched video on Facebook.
In July, Facebook surpassed the unique visitor traffic of Microsoft, Yahoo and Viacom as it was only in sixth place in June. Vevo was the second largest video site with 62 million unique visitors in July with YouTube remaining the reigning king of video with 158 million unique viewers in July.
While Facebook’s growth of new users is not growing at percentages that match 2009′s rate, it has become so mainstream that it is rapidly becoming one of the top destinations for video viewing. Realtors would be wise to include their videos on their Facebook pages and profiles as users are proving they are less interested in poking, gifting, or even instant messaging, but are highly engaged with photos and videos which is music to marketers’ ears.