Facebook Growth Slowing But Platform Still Miles In Front

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  • December 10, 2014

There isn’t really any newsworthy content in the fact that Facebook remains the number one social media platform in the world. Given that the site has a user base list that is equivalent to a third of the number of internet users around the world, that isn’t going to change any time soon. What is likely to be more interesting is the fact that the platform, which has been around for 10 years, which is a lengthy period of time in social media, is very much in slow growth mode. This is to be expected and while there will always be new users going online (of all ages), it has to be said that Facebook have already picked up the vast majority of people who ever likely to use their site.

In the past six months, the leading social media platform has grown at a slower rate than all of the other social media platforms. This has been measured either by active users or by the increase in members. The two growing social media platforms that are worth keeping an eye on are Tumblr and Pinterest. These have experienced great growth in this period, increasing the number of users, respectively, by 120% and 111%. Pinterest has managed to increase their membership by 57% while Tumblr has managed to increase their membership by 45%. It is not a straight fight to compare this with Facebook, but the social media giant can only boast of picking up a 6% increase to its membership and a 2% addition to its active user list. Instagram was the fastest growing network for the previous six months but in this period, it slipped to third place. Facebook is also ranking well below Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn.

There is no need for Facebook to panic just yet

It is not as if Facebook should be sweating too much, every other firm would love to swap places with the market leader and its 1.35 billion users every month. Facebook will argue that they are unable to grow at the same rate because they have already grown, and the most important element for Facebook is to maintain their users and provide them with valuable content. To put the dominance of Facebook into context, if you exclude China, where Facebook is banned, it is believed that four out of five online users claims to have an account on Facebook, and this figure rises to 93% in Latin America.

Of course, the other networks are playing a major game of catch-up to Facebook and its 1.35 billion monthly active users. There is also the fact that 54% of users say they utilise Facebook at least once every month, which is twice the amount of engagement that YouTube, Twitter or Google+ can boast of. When you also take into account that a high proportion of the Facebook audience log in several times every day, you have a platform that advertisers can focus on with great confidence. It may not be able to grow much bigger, but Facebook will remain the number one social media platform for a long time to come.