Oooh, how dramatic. In a swirl of black smoke and a tornado of facts and figures, this infographic paints a pretty bleak picture of the future of Facebook. But is it really all doom and gloom for the social network?
Hardly. It has 955-million monthly active users (less a few million fake accounts), and more than half a billion people log into Facebook every day — and it’s not exactly the easiest site to log out of, either. Thanks to all that newsfeed refreshing and intermittent notification-checking that users get up to, Facebook is taking up a significant amount of total time online: around one of every five minutes. And because it knows what you and your friends like, it’s able to serve up those (usually) relevant ads that make you think it’s okay to click because two of your friends already ‘like’ the advertiser. Some companies doubt the effectiveness of Facebook advertising, but it’s still making the company millions: it generated US$992-million in advertising revenue during its first three months as a publicly listed company.
But Zuckerberg’s social network isn’t perfect — and although it’s not headed down the MySpace path quite yet, there are a few concerned commentators who are quite vocal about everything from the slipping stock price to the number of spam accounts. The fact that ads account for such a huge portion of Facebook’s income is troubling when you consider that the current advertising system on the desktop version of the site isn’t replicated on its mobi site and apps. The number of monthly active mobile users have increased 67% in just a year: now more than 543-million of its 955-million users log in using a mobile device. In its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, it seemed to confirm the doubts, saying that it “generated only a small portion of our revenue from the use of Facebook mobile products, and our ability to increase mobile revenues is unproven.”
So, is Facebook “programmed for revenue or disaster” as this infographic suggests? We’ll have to wait and see.