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Here's the lastest stat: Pinterest’s Pin it button overtakes the Facebook Like on product pages. Another day, another report hammering a couple more nails into the Facebook coffin.

There’s a point where announcing the ‘death of Facebook’ feels more sensationalist than actual fact. Let’s take a glance at some of the most recent negative reports from the last couple of weeks. 

Pinterest overtakes Facebook for UK referral revenue, this comes from Adobe’s own social intelligence report from Q4 2013.

Facebook remains top for social referral traffic globally, states the Q4 2013 Shareaholic report in a more positive tone, however according to Adobe, Pinterest is quickly catching up and is likely to overtake Facebook for referral revenue in the USA this year. 

The level of active Facebook usage fell by 3% in the second half of 2013, states the latest GWI social report, with the gap between Facebook and it rivals narrowing year-on year. 

These are just the three reports we’ve covered on the blog so far, each with their own tang of negativity. Please feel free to scour the internet for further pessimistic reading.

8th Bridge has joined doomsayers with its Social Commerce IQ Retail 2013 report, in which 872 brands are analysed for their effective use of social commerce. The results are mixed for Facebook. This is where the opening Pinterest Pin it stat derives. 

There is brighter news however in a new report from Socialbakers, in which the recent theory that 'teenagers are leaving Facebook in their droves' is revealed to be not quite as it seems.

More on that later. First let's take a look at Pinterest's win.

  • Pinterest’s Pin It button overtook the Facebook Like button and the Tweet button on product pages. 

Retailers have quickly realised the high value potential of Pinterest users. As the Adobe report revealed, Pinterest drives the highest referral revenue in the UK. In the USA Pinterest users spend more per order too, in fact more than double that of Twitter or Facebook users.

For more information, read the article how retailers can use Pinterest to drive sales.

Let’s be even-handed about this though. Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It is first and foremost a social network and recent news feed changes have only encouraged a more personal, relevant user experience, away from page broadcasting.

As more retailers have to adopt a pay-for-play approach to Facebook marketing, it is still beneficial for a retailer to maintain its free-to-run page, even if its reach has been limited.

  • 99% of retailers surveyed have a Facebook page, YouTube comes in a narrow second with 98% of retailers running a YouTube channel

The bottom table shows launch dates and adoption rates by brands. As you can see, newly launched social media platforms achieve very high adoption rates early on. Brands are obviously keen to be early adopters, with Vine having only just celebrated its first birthday, 38% of retailers have already adopted the platform.

Again though, Pinterest is closing in. Fast.

Better news comes from Socialbakers.

A couple of Princeton University students recently posited that Facebook is in fact a virulent social disease that will have lost 80% of its users by 2017. This has obviously led to many reports being spun in a negative light towards Facebook.

Socialbakers has just completed its own study however, analysing the activity of Facebook Pages covering 960m fans and has reached a contradictory conclusion.

  • The teen category of 13–24 year old saw a growth of 29.12% in terms of reach across 2013.
  • The 18–24 year-old age group is still the largest and the absolute reach increased by 39.33% across the same period.

Although teens are obviously using an increased amount of multiple platforms, they are also sticking with Facebook.

Perhaps even more encouragingly, the 35-44 age bracket is seeing incredibly strong growth. The users in this bracket are also likely to spend more and are less likely to wander off towards seemingly trendier platforms.

Let's also not forget that one of those seemingly 'trendier' platforms that teens are adopting at a high level is Instagram. A platform purchased in 2012 by the very shrewd Facebook.

For more information, download our latest Social Media Statistics compendium.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 30 January, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (4)

Linus Gregoriadis

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director at Econsultancy, Centaur Marketing

I think the shareholders are pretty happy judging by latest Facebook financials. Will be interesting to see if they can keep the momentum going into 2014 and beyond. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25954825

over 2 years ago

Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff, Editor at Methods Unsound / Search Engine Watch

Thanks Linus. Was just about to update this... here's the press release from Facebook - http://investor.fb.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=821954

over 2 years ago

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Jonathan Phillips

Irrespective of all the reports and financial indications as to the success (or not) of Facebook...user feedback should be of more concern.

As a retailer we are finding that our customers are using Facebook less and less purely due to the fact that their timelines do not reflect what their friends are doing. Less and less is being displayed, some friends ignored completely and pages that are liked never seen at all.

The success of Facebook relies on peer groups being engaged with each other and if a critical mass was to stop using it then (as with MySpace) the network will die.

When the tipping point happens is unclear but if the current timeline trends continue it will happen sooner rather than later.

over 2 years ago

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Steve Brunt

The Socialbakers stuff is a bit misleading.

The reach of their client brands' content among different age groups isn't really a measure of the behaviour of those age groups so much as the behaviour of those brands.

It also doesn't say how much of that is paid for, although the graph's summer dip (and Facebook's growth in revenues!) give you a heavy hint. It's also based only on their clients, so it isn't exactly a generalisable result.

over 2 years ago

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