Facebook fatigue may be setting in

A woman types in her password to enter Facebook using an app on her iPhone.

Kai Ryssdal: A funny thing happened to my Facebook account about a month or so ago. It was hacked. Truth is, it's just been way to hard to get the company to help me fix it, so I've just given up, and I've been living Facebook-free ever since. Beautiful part is I don't really miss it, and it turns out I may not be the only person suffering Facebook fatigue.

A report out today says the number of users in the U.S. may actually be falling. Marketplace's Steve Henn reports.


Steve Henn: Facebook is still expanding globally, but in places where it's has been around for a long time -- like the U.S. and the U.K. -- traffic may be falling off. Analysts at Inside Facebook, which tracks the social network obsessively, say that last month that six million fewer Americans logged into Facebook than the month before.

Michael Gartenberg: You know, it could be a blip, but you are still talking about a company that is closing in on 700 million users.

Michael Gartenberg is a social media analyst at Gartner. He says it's too soon to call this a trend, but with Facebook planning a $100 billion IPO, this is not the best time for the company to start losing its audience.

And some analysts think Facebook fatigue may be setting in.

Jay Cuthrell: Absolutely.

Jay Cuthrell is a tech consultant -- and was an early Facebook adopter.

Cuthrell: I think I had 1,000 or more friends or more and I just couldn't keep track of it.

Ask your own friends about the annoying Facebook posts they've received and be prepared for a barrage. Religious quotes, political tirade, bragging, even your baby's first steps are likely to annoy someone. Then there are the games.

Cuthrell: Pokes, and vampire bites or zombie bites or mob hits. But from my point of view, it's noise.

Michael Gartnerberg at Gartner says if Facebook is going to keep growing it will have to build better tools that let everyone turn down the noise and find the messages that matter to them.

In Silicon Valley, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...