Another day, another Facebook scandal! On September 28, Facebook announced that over 50 million Facebook accounts have been affected by a security issue. Just when Stat Counter showed Facebook as slightly increasing their page view shares at the end of August 2018, we have another dip to look forward to. Since the issue was announced so late in the month of September, I don’t suspect next months’ Stat Counter chart will look much different, but we’ll be sure to start checking again once the October and November charts become available.
A couple of months ago, Mark Zuckerberg announced that major changes would be made to Facebook which would result in a substantial drop in amount of time spent on Facebook. The intent was to make Facebook more personal again, and less about the pages.
Then there was the whole Cambridge Analytica fiasco, which understandably turned off a lot of people from Facebook. Here is how Mark Zuckerberg responded about the Cambridge Analytica situation;
Angus Reid Institute (1) ran a survey with 1,256 Canadian Facebook users immediately after this story came out, and their results showed that;
27% would make no changes on how they use Facebook
41% would keep using Facebook but would check or change their privacy settings
23% would use Facebook less in the future
6% would suspend their account or take a break from Facebook
4% would delete their Facebook account
From these results, only a small percentage of current Canadian Facebook users were planning on actually leaving Facebook, even if just for a temporary period. But even the tiniest percentage of a massive base ends up being a very large number.
The question that this survey did not ask is what would substitute Facebook. When a brand loses market share, another brand often benefits as a result. The brand that swooped the share of page views in Canada was Pinterest! Careful how you interpret this! The results are given as a percentage, so this does not mean that Pinterest took all of the lost page views by Facebook and added them to their total. Not at all. Although Pinterest would have liked that, I’m sure! What this simply means is that Pinterest now has the lion share of page views, albeit from a smaller base now that the social media goliath Facebook has lost page views. The total number of page views of all social media sites combined has probably dropped substantially as a result of the lost page views from Facebook. But, now that Canadian social media users may have gained back a bit of time from when they left or reduced their usage of Facebook, this will allow them time to use other social sites instead.
Statcounter. Social Media Stats Canada. March 2017 to March 2018.
At its peak in December 2017, Facebook owned 80% of the social media page view share. As of March 2018, that has dropped to 52%! (2)
As for Pinterest, as of December 2017, it owned 13% of the social media page view share, whereas this increased to an astounding 30% in March 2018. (2)
It is quite unlikely that either social media platform could have predicted the circumstances that have led to such drastic changes. It certainly changes a lot for Facebook. They were facing their own problems before this. It might not be changing all that much for Pinterest because although they gained share of a smaller pie, they may or may not have gained that many more page views.
Where is Instagram in all of this? Well, if you look at the Statcounter mobile data, you will notice that Instagram has also increased in page view share, but minimally compared to Facebook. I would keep an eye on Instagram over the next few months to see their growth. This site is sure popular with all the younger mothers at my kids’ school!
Source (1): Angus Reid Institute. Un-liking Facebook: 3-in-4 Canadian users say data mining scandal will change how they use the platform. March 26, 2018.