Facebook usage down in UK

According to Nielsen Online, via the Grauniad, Facebook saw its first dip in UK usage - around 5 percent - between December and January. That doesn't stop it being the top social networking site in this country, though.

According to Nielsen Online, via the Grauniad, Facebook saw its first dip in UK usage - around 5 percent - between December and January. That doesn't stop it being the top social networking site in this country, though. It's worth noting that MySpace also saw a comparable drop, while Bebo is also down.

Some people have jumped on this story as a marker of the decline of Facebook. Personally I reckon it's completely normal for a site like that to spike then stabilise as it finds its long-term user base and loses those who do approach it more faddishly. I certainly know many people who are losing interest - but then again I know lots of people who are using it more and more to organise their social calendar etc. Either way, Mark Zuckerberg & Co. haven't yet found a way to make money off the thing, so even a slight decline in usage will be bad news for them.

If Facebook is genuinely starting on a faddish decline, then I can't see what the next fad - the next big thing in social networking - is going to be yet. I certainly doubt that social networking itself is going to go away anytime soon. Furthermore, I suspect that Facebook has become entrenched enough for the majority of its userbase to need a damn good reason to go elsewhere - as it stands, that would be needless and counterproductive fragmentation.

On the subject of Zuckerberg's Folly, a US company called WorkLight has brought its Facebook overlay, WorkBook, over to the UK now. This apparently makes it secure and enterprise-friendly, so if your organisation is currently blocking FB over security concerns, it might be worth a gander.

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