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How To Take a Seasonal Chart And Get a TechMeme Headline and Digg Traffic
I almost always enjoy Techcrunch writer Erick Schonfeld’s posts as they are in-depth and well thought out. But this time the NY-er just got it wrong. Erick has posted a chart of Facebook traffic from Comscore (shown below with my edits) and the headline, "Facebook Fatigue? Visitors Level Off In the U.S.".
Apparently, without any additional research on why there might be a dip, he believes the dip is due to the Facebook application spam and if people have had enough that they are leaving the social network. I’ve highlighted in the chart below the dip from the same time that Erick refers to in 2007 for comparison purposes.
The truth is that whatever caused the graph to have the same shape last winter is causing the graph to have that shape again this year. Sure, Erick may be proven right, but it’s too early to tell — by a lot.
The real question we should be asking and discussing is: Has Facebook reached a level of saturation with their core userbase? Naturally a new "class" enters Facebook each year and that should be able to keep their numbers consistent as the older folks potentially step out of action. We know that Facebook has been starting to target the LinkedIn crowd and if Facebook plans to see growth this year, it’s got to come from outside the college student demographic.
Techmeme not only has a link to the TC story, but it’s the top headline currently. And the story on TC looks like it is headed towards Digg frontpage status. Wow.
Steven Hodson wonders if it would be better to just blame mother nature in this case.