4D3D2D - Last week, we ran an article about the future of Facebook, discussing what we might be using Facebook for in five years, including things like search, e-commerce, travel, identity, payments, movies, music, etc. This week, we followed that up with a piece asking if Facebook has peaked. This was based on a handful of studies that showed slowed growth for the massive social network, while Twitter adoption is on the rise. Since then, some more things have come out that can give us more clues about where Facebook is headed.
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Shrinking Word of Mouth?
First off, YouGov BrandIndex tells WebProNews, our previous article on Facebook "peaking" inspired some research, which found that Facebook's word of mouth has been declining since the beginning of the year among adults 18 and up. This "may create some potential investor concern as the company considers its IPO," the firm says, adding:
While Facebook is still very well positioned in its space, there is other evidence that points to potential challenges ahead. According to Inside Facebook Gold data service, while Facebook is approaching its 700 million user goal, most of the gains have been from countries who adopted it later than North America. Growth numbers have recently slowed down and the United States lost 6 million users in May alone.
Facebook's word of mouth was measured by YouGov BrandIndex using its Buzz score, which asks respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" YouGov BrandIndex's measurement scores range from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.
ADULTS 35 – 49
January 3 score: 28.5
June 13 score: 10.4
ADULTS 18 – 34 (which historically have the highest perception of the company)
January 3 score: 36.2
June 13 score: 22.8
"Facebook's perception gap between men and women began widening in mid-January, with men's numbers tumbling throughout February," the firm says. "Only a small amount of that loss was regained through the spring until early June, when the numbers declined again."