As no doubt you all know, Facebook has dominated the social media market for years now, and whilst the social site is still growing at a phenomenal rate, the new look Twitter is proving to be a formidable competitor.
Twitter has definitely taken the edge when it comes to promoting its news feed. It would now also appear that Twitter has started to dominate the mobile user market - one of the most profitable and fastest growing markets of them all. Twitter mobile audience is growing at a much faster rate than Facebook according to recent statistics.
Facebook enthusiasts needn't fear though, it's rare that Zuckerberg and team let a challenge pass them by.
Although there is a subtle shift in the social media market, Facebook is still the biggest presence by far. No other social network has been as successful at conquering emerging markets. At the last count Facebook was well on the way to attracting a massive 800 million users.
- Figures show that Facebook manages to attract as much as 90% of all social media traffic.
- A shift has also been seen in demographics revealing that Facebook is adapting to suit new growth areas.
- Latest figures show that older generations are now gaining confidence online. In the west the average age of a Facebook user has increased by 5 years.
- Younger audiences are also emerging in new fast growing economies, such as the Middle East, Latin America and Asia.
- Facebook continues to strike the right note with mature marketplaces, which include most of Europe and the United States. Growth is still steady in these areas. In the U.S. alone growth increased by 22% moving into 2011.This took the total membership close to the 155m mark.
- The average amount of time spent on Facebook per month has also increased to 7h 42 minutes. Quite an impressive amount of exposure for any brand.
Despite Facebook's dominance there is a growing discontentment in the market. Many users have taken to online chat rooms, forums and message boards to voice disapproval over problems that Facebook have failed to overcome:
- Privacy Features - users are rightly concerned about the constant changes to Facebook privacy features. Facebook encourages the posting of private information online, and studies have shown that this information has been abused time and time again by malicious users. It has become increasingly complicated to gain control of your privacy with a Facebook account, leaving many users vulnerable.
- Interface - the Facebook interface has come under a lot of criticism. The once user friendly website has now become a veritable minefield to navigate. Most are finding it difficult, to carry out simple actions such as updating pages and finding 'friends'.
These problems have left Facebook users divided. Some have become more engaged with their Facebook accounts, whilst others have become increasingly disillusioned.
Every cloud has its silver lining it would seem, as this is great news for competitors such as Twitter. Certainly Twitter is smaller than Facebook at the moment, but experts are predicting that it will grow by as much as 210% by the end of 2011. Meaning that although Twitter has yet to reach the dizzy heights of Facebook it has attracted new users by offering us what Facebook cannot.
Ben runs an SEO Agency. London based, he blogs for his agency, Electric Dialogue, and for his clients, which include operators of Heathrow Airport Lounges (as well as Gatwick and Stansted), biotech companies, event businesses and restaurants.