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Daily Nation : February 10th 2014
DAILY NATION Monday February 10, 2014 coverstory 000,000 Total number of monthly active Facebook users 1.23 billion monthly users currently (means 1 out of 6 people use Facebook) 300,000 20 million Number of users who helped translate Facebook 7 million 338 70 201.6 billion Average number of apps installed on Facebook each day Total number of apps and websites integrated with Facebook For adult users, average number of friends is 338 Number of languages available on the Facebook site 75 % Percentage of Facebook users who are outside the United States friend connections Profit in 2013 was $US1.5 billion Profit in 2012 was $US53 million Online advertising revenue in 2012 was $US5.1 billion Online advertising revenue in 2013 was $US7.87 billion $6,150,000,000 4,619 Last year, Zuckerberg’s older sister, Randi Zuckerberg, made headlines when she authored two books encouraging people to spend less time online. One of the books is a children’s story featuring a little girl called Dot who discovers the wonders of the world around her when her mother takes away her technology gadgets. This is quite some sensational stuff when you consider that Randi worked as Facebook’s Director of Marketing Development since its inception before she quit in 2011. Facebook’s spot as the most popular social networking tool remains unassailable... for now. Emerging reports show that, as it grows older, so does its average user. The biggest social network is now a decade old, but it cuts the I would not want my family seeing the content I post on social media, so I ignore the requests. To get away from them completely, I have joined Twitter. I hope they don’t discover it any time soon! cake amid growing concerns that more young people are logging out than are logging in. Researchers argue that Facebook’s best days are behind it, with some even predicting that, by 2020, it will have died... of old age. In November last year, Facebook’s Chief Financial Officer, David Ebersman, admitted that teenagers were becoming less active on the site. They were instead leaning towards instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp and Google Talk, leaving Facebook thrills to the older generation. Just when the parents and even grandparents thought that they had now caught up with the ‘dot com’ generation, the tide has turned once again. There is legitimate cause for worry though. When it comes to technology, teenagers and young 1 million Links shared 2 million Friends requested 3 million Messages sent Total 2013 Facebook revenue $5,090,000,000 Total 2012 Facebook revenue Total number of Facebook employees GRAPHIC: DENNIS MAKORI | NATION adults are the judges of what’s cool and what’s not. Facebook’s ability to attract older users, while undoubtedly boosting its numbers, has also proved to be its greatest weakness. The social network relies on its massive numbers to make money from advertising. The more people log onto the site, the more traffic it records, which translates into advertisers paying more to advertise on the site. Therefore, the youth’s shift from Facebook to micro-blogging sites such as Twitter is bound to translate into a massive loss of revenue for the company “Facebook is childish nowadays,” says Ian Kimani, a 24-year-old who admits that he was more active on the site a few years ago than he is 3 today. “I find that people overshare, divulging too much information about themselves, which makes me uncomfortable.” Ian’s views are echoed by Lisa Mueni, who says that she feels very uncomfortable when she receives ‘friend’ requests from her parents or her aunts and uncles. “I would not want my family to see the content I post on social media, so I ignore the requests,” says the 19year-old. “To get away from them completely, I have joined Ttwitter. I hope they don’t discover it any time soon!” However, Ian and Lisa represent only a small — but growing — group of disgruntled Facebook users. Facebook is still wildly popular in Kenya, enjoying web traffic that Twitter can only dream of. In 2012, Kenya had just over two million Facebook users. But, with improved Internet connections and more affordability of computers and Internet-enabled phones, that number has risen exponentially. The novelty is yet to wear off, and most think they are in it for the long haul. “I love Facebook for its simplicity of use, and for the platform it gives me to communicate with my friends,” says Christine Njeri, 17. She joined Facebook last year and does not have a Twitter account yet. “I am content with Facebook, Twitter is too difficult,” she explains. Irrelevant content Solomon Kaweesa, a 25-year- old Ugandan living in Kenya, also says that he prefers Facebook to Twitter. Any given time of day, he says, he is logged onto Facebook on either his computer or his phone. He, however, sets himself apart from the average Facebook user. “I want to change how people use Facebook, at least among my circle of friends,” he says, referring to his over 700 connections on the site. “People post too much irrelevant content on Facebook as opposed to important information such as news.” Kaweesa even suggests that it is lack of content that has contributed to the death of Facebook. A study by Pew Research Centre in August and September 2013 backs Solomon’s claims. Majority of people, Pew found out, dislike Facebook because users share too much information about themselves. An equal number strongly dislike the fact that Facebook friends are able to post things about them without first asking the involved person’s permission. Other pet peeves include pressure to post content that would be popular and pressure to comment on content posted by others in their network. This discontentment is what has seen many users open and sustain Twitter accounts, and over time, the gradual shift becomes permanent. Some have termed Twitter as more ‘intellectual’, which is perhaps a reflection of the users rather than the site itself. However, predicting a Facebook death is premature. While some people definitely log onto the site less, most have not deleted their accounts. Its appeal as a platform for cool peer-to-peer interaction may be waning, but it is going to be a while before we hear the last of Facebook.
February 9th 2014
February 11th 2014