[Update] Is the end nigh for Facebook?

Since the botched IPO of Facebook when investors saw their Facebook stock price plummet, there has been a lot of talk about whether this marks the end for Facebook. They’ve made a lot of changes recently which are proving very unpopular with Facebook users – individuals and brands alike.

Timeline is one update which has caused a huge stir in the brand page owner community. Research suggest that the EdgeRank algorithm, the algorithm which determines which content users see in their news feed, only delivers updates to 12% of the average users friends. If you’re a brand working hard to ramp up your follower numbers, this will come as fairly disappointing news.

And what’s even more disconcerting is the news that overall user engagement on Facebook has fallen by a massive 34%, with one third of users spending less time on the social network than they were six months ago. The study also revealed that 4 out of 5 users had never been engaged by an ad displayed on Facebook. This could explain why General Motors pulled all advertising from Facebook just before the IPO.

The problem could lie in the way people are accessing social media, as we’re all getting busier and choosing to multi-task using smart phones, the majority of users are switching to mobile versions of their favourite social networking sites. Today, Twitter smashed the 400 million tweets per day mark, and revealed the immense success they’ve been having with their mobile ad revenue. Perhaps this is an area where Facebook should be focussing their attention, as they’ve already admitted that they don’t “get mobile”.

If you’re using Facebook as a company and running a page, one piece of advice would be to get to grips with the PageRank algorithm, as this will help you to understand who is seeing your content and when is best to post. If the thought of understanding an algorithm leaves you in a cold sweat, then you could also try paying close attention to your Facebook analytics, and to traffic driven to your main website from social media. These are good ways to determine what time of day is best for engagement.