Facebook's statistical uncertainty

A lesson in picking and choosing statistics here: in the middle of last week, Nielsen stats showed Facebook usage was down 5 percent in the UK from December to January (although MySpace and Bebo were also down). Now Facebook has hit back saying its own figures tell a different story.

A lesson in picking and choosing statistics here: in the middle of last week, Nielsen stats showed Facebook usage was down 5 percent in the UK from December to January (although MySpace and Bebo were also down). Now Facebook has hit back saying its own figures tell a different story.

"The number of users for Facebook continues to climb in the UK," says a spokesperson. "Our internal monthly active user numbers rose between December and January in the UK and are now at more than 8.3 million. Facebook tracks active monthly users, rather than registered user or unique visitors. Active users reflect those who have used the site in the past 30 days."

Not really sure how to interpret this one. Given that it is notoriously impossible to delete a Facebook account, it's not like people are leaving the site as such. What Facebook says does tally with what I was suggesting last week about tasters dropping off and the active user base remaining, but... let's see how this plays out over the coming months.

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