Yes, it is worth noting that Facebook’s user base in the UK actually dropped between December and January for the first time ever. It’s uniques dropped 5% to 8.5 million, while MySpace UK, in the No 2 slot, also dropped 5%, to 5 million and Bebo dropped only 2% to 4 million.
But here’s the reality check, people: THAT WAS OVER THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS.
Facebook’s audience is still 712% higher than in January 2007 and 9% bigger than at the end of October. Did you really expect it to maintain that level of growth? Plus I think most are no longer over-dosing on social networking as much as they did last year. The reality has set in and people are weaving it into their daily lives in a more measured way – at least until Facebook can come up with anything new and interesting other than vampires. Some more context: Bebo has seen a 53% year-on-year increase in unique users compared to January 2007 (but a dip of 8% since the end of October, perhaps down to the Bebo kids graduating to FB?).
The news is worse for MySPace where its numbers of unique users have fallen by 9% since January last year and 14% over the past three months. However, everything I see and hear about MySpace in the UK is that they are prepping a bunch of interesting things over the next few months, not least the launch of its developer platform, which seems to have had a lot of initial developer buy-in. The game’s not over yet.