Four reports within the past 10 days point to a serious problem for Facebook. First, the headlines:
- Facebook is shedding massive traffic — and it’s apparently flocking to YouTube
- Facebook’s web traffic has declined by nearly half in the last two years, while YouTube is climbing
- Facebook Engagement Sharply Drops 50% Over Last 18 Months
- Facebook page engagement is dropping rapidly
Now the details:
Facebook is shedding massive traffic — and it’s apparently flocking to YouTube
Salon points to market research done by SimilarWeb.
“Facebook’s traffic hasn’t just fallen by about half since 2016, according to the study. Among the consequences of such a precipitous drop is the opening it’s given to YouTube, which the study’s data shows is about to overtake Facebook to become the second biggest site, traffic-wise, in the U.S. Which would give Google ownership of the top two spots, pushing Facebook down to number three.” – Salon
Facebook’s web traffic has declined by nearly half in the last two years, while YouTube is climbing
CNBC is calling the drop at Facebook “severe” in its analysis. According to their research, YouTube is expected to pass up Facebook as the #2 most visited website. Google is #1, but YouTube has been continuing to grow while growth for Facebook has slowed.
“Facebook has seen a severe decline in monthly page visits, from 8.5 billion to 4.7 billion in the last two years, according to the study. Although Facebook’s app traffic has grown, it is not enough to make up for that loss.” – CNBC
Investors took note when the number of DAU’s (Daily Active Users) in Europe declined and stayed flat in the U.S.
Facebook Engagement Sharply Drops 50% Over Last 18 Months
It’s not just traffic and DAU numbers that have dropped, so has engagement.
Brands that played the volume game appear to be those hurt the most, suffering huge drops in engagement. Brands that posted 10 or more times per day saw a drop approaching two-thirds.
Forbes reports that it’s not for lack of trying by brands. The volume of FB posts by top brands actually, increase 25% (from 6.5m to 8.1m) – nearly 72,000 a day – in the last year. Despite that, FB pages had the biggest decline. It can be a self-fulfilling prophesy. Since FB prioritized the posts you engage with most, those that don’t get engagement don’t get featured, which means you may not ever see them. In addition, Facebook says its algorithm can tell the difference between a fast like, and someone that reads the content and interacts, as well as punish posts that are soliciting engagement.
All of this means if you are relying on Facebook for referral traffic and leads, it’s likely working dramatically less than it did a year or two ago. In addition, it means the only way to beat the algorithm is to pay to boost your posts, or buy good old fashioned ads.
Facebook page engagement is dropping rapidly
Buffer and BuzzSumo teamed up to analyze more than 43 million posts from Facebook’s 20,000 top brands.
Key findings from 43 million Facebook Business Page posts
- Top Pages are posting a lot more
- Overall Page engagement is declining
- Facebook engagement down for videos, images, and links
- Posting 5 times per day resulted in highest overall engagement
- Top Page categories experienced 49-70% overall drop in engagement
Read the rest of the report here.