Given that this is the silly season in journalism when hard pressed news editors will publish almost anything that vaguely shows signs of life then you may wish to treat this with a pinch of salt but there are signs that Facebook may be hitting saturation point, at least in the UK. It appears that despite signing up its 500 millionth member last month, the average amount of time spent on Facebook by a Briton has decreased from 30 minutes in December 2009, to 27.36 minutes during June and July 2010.
Now I don’t know about you but I don’t think a 2.5 minute drop in time spent on Facebook spells out the end of the world! However, these statistics are deemed notable by analysts Hitwise and show that Facebook is still the second most visited site in the UK, after Google, and that it accounts for one in every six web pages accessed in Britain.
There the good news ends. Robin Goad, Hitwise’s research director, believes that the figures show that Facebook is nearing saturation point in the UK.
“Facebook’s market share of UK page views has trebled over the last five years, but growth has slowed significantly over the last six months. Last month there was a slight decline in share, but this may well be down to seasonality – the August to September back-to-school/college/university period is significant for Facebook,” he explained.
Goad also chipped in: “Facebook has a very high average session time – almost half an hour – but this has also stabilised over the last six months after increasing rapidly during the site’s ascendancy.”
Apparently 25 million Brits have a Facebook account, second to the US and followed by Indonesia and Turkey. Although the 18-25 age group is Britain’s largest, well over half of British users of the site are over 25 and 38.2 per cent are over 35.