Facebook Visitor Decline And Why Facebook Still Doesnt Care About You

by on June 30, 2012

in consumer

Facebook LogoToday I’m chatting about a subtle decline in visitors to Facebook and my small perspective on the issue, including why I think they still don’t care about the user.

Facebook’s Web Traffic Decline

It’s being reported that Facebook‘s number of unique visitors from U.S. web surfers has declined from April to May.  It only dropped 0.6% or they saw 158.7 to 158.01 million visitors.

Outside (of Facebook) experts are saying that there has been a consistent estimated ~5% drop in unique visitors to the infamous social site over a six-month period of time.

It’s been noted that this is precarious timing, considering the social network giant’s recent IPO move.

And oddly people seemed surprised when the stock price dropped after that public introduction to the stock market.

The concerns are the future growth of the company and how to monetize off future visitors.  Present users are estimated at 900 million monthly users and the net made ~just over $5 per user in 2011.  (Or $4.6 billion)

Of course all these woes of only making $4.6 billion a year are why the stock floundered.  Most long-term investors look for potential growth while FB seemed to already be at a point where the lucrative growth potential may not be there for many investors.

What’s A Unique Visitor?

unique visitorsA unique visitor is like gold to a web business.  It’s a brand new site visitor that hasn’t been there before.  It’s a potential repeat visitor and potential new member.

There are a few aspects of business to take into account.

Most businesses convert roughly 1% of new visitors into customers.  (I suspect the ease of web surfing and ease of access to a website changes that conversion ratio.)

The other aspect of most businesses is that 20% of a customer base usually accounts for 80% of a business’s income.  I think that still holds true where I watch roughly two out of ten of my friends tend to play games constantly on FB.

That is why uniques are important.

Why Do I Think Uniques to FB Are Dropping?

I can only guess at this, but I think word of mouth can deter potential new users.

Over the last few years you’ve seen in the media about the many changes that Facebook has applied or forced on its user base.

Some of the recent changes range from those new user timelines, how users feed updates are being modified – depending on how much you might interact with a page or not, and the most recent change is your FB email account.

As Lauren Effron said in her ABC News piece,

“Like an Internet ninja sneaking around in the social interaction darkness, Facebook silently dropped some new features today without asking users first or bringing it to their attention.”

On June 25th, FB modified settings that changed ALL of their user default email addresses to [name]@facebook.com.  And they made changes that redirected messages to those Facebook profile in-boxes.

And they didn’t bother to give a heads up or offer the option for users to opt out.

Additionally, you might have also noticed your Facebook URL may have changed.  But that’s yet one more change you were never openly apprised of.

Your Facebook Account Needs To Be Watched Carefully

Laptop Safe - Personal Online Security - Protecting PasswordsFacebook has, from day one, echoed Mark Zuckerberg’s mindset or belief that web surfers should have no privacy on the web.  (Except for him of course.)

He made that statement a few years ago but when the public rebelled at that belief, FB appeared to back down.  Yet it seems to me that though they’re not blatantly spreading our info to the web, they doing exactly what they want any way.

That’s to continually make changes that appear to make the site more user friendly.  Yet each new feature also helps FB connect the user base to more features and business partners of theirs.

(Every game and app you interact with, you have to give permission to access some of your basic profile info.  And that includes profile info of your friends.)

The above and other reasons are why you need to dig around your profile and check your own security and privacy settings on a monthly basis.

Because too many times in the past their website modifications have also changed user settings.

Facebook Needs To Talk To Their Users, If They Cared

Though FB seems to appear to have the users’ privacy in mind, I have to think that they don’t give a shit about the user, except as an income commodity.  If they cared about the user, they would take greater measures to inform the users of each and every change they apply to the website.

How hard can it be to make another of their infamous changes and contact users via their feeds or their new emails?  But they don’t.  They hide them away on some update page and call them “Popular Features.”

Don’t Be Fooled

I know some folk that do not partake in Facebook because they are concerned for their privacy.  To be honest, at least Facebook is honest about how they handle your personal information.

If you are in any way using the internet, whether it’s just to cruise websites or only for email, you’re already part of a huge tracking system and your argument about being private or staying out of the system becomes misinformed.

There are websites out there that track everything.  I can go and find out the ages, gender mixes, education levels and job incomes of most of my site visitors.  It’s nuts how things can be tracked theses days…  whether it be your TV cable box, your cell phone, or even the games you play…  it’s all tracked.

Whether it’s used or not is another matter altogether.

Facebook is the apparent frustration because they change our environment and don’t care to outwardly tell their user base.  We have to find out from third parties, and that’s shameful.  If you haven’t seen The Social Network, you should check it out.  Somethings just seem to click between some user experiences and the movie.

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BTW:  Your new email address delivers to the same square talk symbol you’ve been getting personal messages from other users in, on FB

BTW2, If you want to change that new email setting back,


1. Go to your profile page.

2. On your Timeline, click on the ‘Update Info’ button. Click that. (You can also click on the About page).

3. On the Contact Info box, click Edit.

4. The first item is ‘Emails.’   It’s here that you should see your new @facebook.com email address.  Put  your mouse cursor over the symbol that looks like a No Smoking sign.

5. Click the down arrow and select “Hidden from Timeline.” Here is where you can choose which email address you want to have on your profile. All users need a personal email address to sign up for a Facebook account, so your original email address should still be listed here. Just change the setting next to the email address you want to use for Facebook alerts and messages to “Show on Timeline,” or the open circle symbol.

6. Click Save.

Resources for this one-handed rant (I’m recovering from shoulder surgery):
cbsnews: facebook-u.s-unique-users-down , abcnews: facebook-email .

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bruce Simmons July 2, 2012 at 10:14 am

At least FB is upfront about it… in other parts of the article, you might take note that this goes on with every other process on the web, including ’email only’ users. Don’t be fooled thinking that by not using any of the big social entities, that you’re dodging the system.

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