Social network fatigue not global

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For all the talk about social networking fatigue, Facebook is quickly evolving into a global phenomena. Granted its usage maybe dropping slightly here in the United States, but internationally it is growing by leaps and bounds. Andrew Harrison sent me this graph. It tells an important story.

Maybe all social networks go through an evolution. Their usage shoots up as the buzz attracts more users who in turn attracts more users themselves (the Duncan Watts phenomena). But then as Jesse Pickard stressed to me last week, some users realize that they need to return to their daily lives and can't carve out time for activity on the network. The network plateaus as the wannabes leave and the platform begins a growth phase in a new market. The cycle repeats in each market.

Follow me on Twitter (@shivsingh) for more insights on digital strategy and social media.


Hey Shiv, thanks for mentioning me on your blog.

To add to my point, I think it is wise to take a step back from the blanket term "Facebook Fatigue" and see why these numbers are on the downturn. For adults, the experience of Facebook is naturally much stickier in a user's first few months on the site. You're busy connecting with all your past friends and building a profile. Once that is done, there is less reason to be on FB for busy adults. After all, they have kids and job to deal with and FB doesn't help them manage these things. In the future, I see most adult users using Facebook to post pictures, add contacts and occasionally update major info in their profile.

2007 was a massive year for the 25+ FB market. I think the small slump reflects the fact that this market is getting saturated in the US, and the adult users are backing into less active FB usage I spoke of above.

Colin said:

I have to agree. Naturally, after a few months of social network membership, it becomes less of a social occupation and more of a game without any clear purpose.
That's where softwares like 8hands and others get into work when trying to save time in dealing with social networks but still keep you involved in the network.
I think it's too early to determine whether these efforts will keep grown ups in the game or not.

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