Earlier today we reported a story that asserted millions of users were leaving the Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) social network. The story originally came from the Guardian. The Next Web has now posted a story refuting the claims made in the Guardian piece. The piece sources a representative of the same company that the Guardian used as a source for its own data.
The earlier report stated that research from a SocialBakers analyst suggested that the company had seen a four percent decline in user numbers in the United States in March. That number would constitute a loss of about 6 million active users, a hefty loss for a company entirely reliant on the large amount of web traffic it generates.
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The Next Web got in touch with an analyst from the company who stated definitively that the figures contained in the report were estimates only, and were not meant to be used for journalistic reproduction. The analyst stated that he warned against such interpretation of the figures in the report, but that warning was ignored by the Guardian journalists.
The data presented in the SocialBakers report was intended to be consumed by marketers. It is not clear how inaccurate the figures are, or why marketers would be content with poor estimates of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) social networking traffic. In antithesis to the conclusion that the company is losing traffic, there have been several recent reports demonstrating strength in the company’s traffic numbers.
Earlier in April, a study performed by Piper Jaffray concluded that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was still the most popular social networking site among teenagers. More recently there was a Facebook redesign intended to drive traffic to the social network from Yelp!, and estimates for the firm’s mobile revenue continued to look healthy.
Today’s reaction concerning a drop off in traffic to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) in the United States was slight. As the SocialBakers report stated, “The bottom line here is that there is no story.”
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is due to report its results for the first three months of 2013 on Wednesday. After today’s report, analysts will be studying the report closely for signs of weakness in the firm’s domestic market. So far in 2013, the firm’s stock has increased by just under 2 percent, despite the overall strength of the tech market, and the web industry in particular. In the same period, the Nasdaq index gained more than 9 percent.