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Facebook’s Engagement Dips 34%. Have You Been Spending Less Time On It?

So where have you been spending most of your social media time lately?

Because according to a recent poll by Ipsos, 34% of Facebook users said they are less engaged on the social network than they have been in the recent past. Only 20% of members are spending more time on the site.

The survey also found that four out of five Facebook members have never been influenced by ads run on the site. This indicates that marketing efforts that encourage Facebook users to buy products and services via the site may not be working — A fact confirmed by General Motors Co, the third largest advertiser in the United States, announcing it would pull its $10 million paid advertising budget from Facebook.

We think that there are a combination of factors at play here.

1) Mobile — Facebook still has not solved its mobile issue. Its mainly desktop driven user experience is clunky, slow and just painful on its native app. In fact, Facebook loads faster on browsers like Dolphin. Its recent announcement to purchase Instagram for $1 Billion and then releasing its own Facebook Camera app with similar features to Instagram is clear that its trying its best to get into the mobile game. An area of exponential growth in terms of time spent by smartphone users that the social network seem to be missing out on.

2) Timeline — While it may look impressive upon first glance, the UI is confusing. Messages from brands and friends are being buried in some far right corner or folded within some timeline frame far below the fold of the page. It’s easy to lose interest when you are not seeing enticing and relevant offerings from the brands you have opted to receive notifications from. When we checked in with friends who run local businesses, they reported that a lot of their fans have not been seeing their messages and promotions too.

3) The IPO debacle — The CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing a class action lawsuit for insider trading less than a month after its IPO. It comes as no surprise that almost half at the respondents (44%) said the market debut, seen by investors as troubled, has made them less favorable toward Facebook, according to the survey.

4) Ads — Its ads has notoriously low click-through rates. Having been on both the advertiser and consumer side, it’s not hard to see why. When was the last time you clicked on an ad in Facebook?, which also happens to be the size of a postage stamp with a 25 character limit on the title. While this does not directly impact the engagement level since users never cared for the ads anyway, perhaps it’s a sign of waning engagement overall.

Have your Facebook habits changed recently?

 

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