It May Be Getting Harder to Target Customers on Facebook
BY Abigail Tracy
Two new studies show how people are using the social network today, which could cast light on how successful marketers' efforts to connect with users will be.
With Facebook's 10-year anniversary comes the release of two studies that shed new light on the state of the social network. One highlights the shift in user behavior over the past few years, while the other forecasts Facebook's eventual decline--and both could help predict marketers' ability to reach customers through the platform.
According to a Pew Research Center study released on Monday, Facebook is still the most dominant social network. Of the more than 1.2 billion Facebook users worldwide, 64 percent visit the site daily.
Though the statistics are a good sign for businesses in search of customers, other findings in the study show that advertisers and marketers might have more trouble collecting data on users, who have little inclination to share personal information. Only 10 percent of those surveyed update their status daily, with a mere 4 percent updating their status more than once a day. Additionally, 36 percent of Facebook users strongly dislike people sharing too much information about themselves on the network.
The second study, conducted by the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, found that almost one-third of Facebook users will use the social network less within the next five years. The study predicts that Facebook will not get "Myspace-d" and collapse but will instead be used in a different way, as other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr move to the forefront of the social-media landscape.
"Facebook will become the phone directory for the planet," said Jeffery Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future, a research institute at USC.