We tend to see social media companies as perpetually growing, people getting machines. But, this isn’t really case. In actuality they’re something a little more tidal. For instance, in Canada there seems to be a plateau for Facebook users.
From the Toronto Star
The head of Facebook Canada believes there’s still plenty of room for the social networking giant to grow north of the border, but some new numbers suggest that may not be the case.
A report from Inside Facebook, which tracks usage and trends on Facebook, suggests the website is nearing another big user milestone, and is just 13 million users shy of hitting 700 million monthly active users.
But the report also says it’s growth outside of North America that’s fuelling the latest surge of Facebook use.
The number of Canadians using Facebook has recently dropped by about 1.52 million to 16.6 million, according to Inside Facebook.
The number of active Canadian Facebook users has fluctuated in the 16- to 18-million range over the past year, the report notes.
Canada’s numbers reflect a global trend suggesting that the number of Facebook users in a country seems to plateau when 50 per cent of the population is signed up.[source]
Despite Facebook’s perceived ubiquity, it seems like achieving a 100% user rate has to be damned near impossible. Google has come pretty close, but that’s after years of marketing and carving out its turf among a smaller batch of competitors.
There is some thought that social media is primed to peak over the next few years – there is a finite number of users after all. And, there is a lot of competition from rising stars, fading giants, and other stable fiefdoms. If Canada’s Facebook plateau is an indicator, after meteoric growth, sowing up a market is going to be a tough slog for companies seeking universal power over our free time.