Facebook traffic is down. Do you have Facebook fatigue?


Image Credit: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg/Getty Images

You objected when Facebook added the News Feed. But you still returned to see if your ex was still in a relationship. You protested when Facebook added hyperlinks to all of your interests. But you still logged on to check out your friend’s wedding photo album. You revolted every single time Facebook decided to launch a slight redesign. But you still came back to comment on your friend’s picture of her cat in a pirate costume. (Just me? Okay.) But, now, all of a sudden, it looks like Facebook users have slapped the social networking site with a big “Dislike.” According to Inside Facebook, in the month of May alone, “membership” went down from 155.2 million to 149.4 million in the U.S., meaning almost 6 million users decided to not utilize the social networking site throughout the month. May 2011, in fact, marks the first time Facebook has lost users in the U.S.

So what kept you from using Facebook this month? Do you have Facebook fatigue? Perhaps it’s the mere fact that the site hasn’t undergone any major changes in recent memory. What better way to get users to log on to change their statuses than to give them a layout that inspires their ire? Like they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity! Or maybe the ability to sync your Facebook and Twitter for status updates has kept users from heading to their computers to share specifics about the side of fries they’re eating. Personally, I’ve found myself just not caring as much anymore — the novelty of finding out what happened to my high school classmates has worn off (especially considering people don’t change careers on a daily basis), and I’d much rather enjoy this spring’s fresh air than spend time wondering how I once knew that person who won’t stop posting about how annoying it is when people are so fake.

Do you have Facebook fatigue, PopWatchers? What’s keeping you from logging on?

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateWardEW

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Comments (82 total) Add your comment
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  • Shifty

    You wind up with “friends” from all around your life and therefore have to censor yourself or manipulate your permissions so much that it doesn’t seem worth bothering.

    • Wil

      This is exactly the problem.

    • alice

      I second this. Facebook has made the internet too small. Your fandom friends are on FB, but so is your Sunday School teacher and your football coach and your mom, so you self-censor. Except those who don’t, and they’re annoying because no one needs to know so much about someone they’re not sleeping with.

      If you’re sleeping with your Sunday School teacher, your coach or your mom, your mileage may vary. (and ew.)


      Facebook is highschool all over again! People posting their every random thought and posting the most unnecessary pix all for ATTENTION! Well I refuse to feed into it and to give ‘those ppl’ power over me a second time in one lifetime. Also, I agree that it’s awkward having certain ppl as FB friends because you have to censor yourself but not accepting their friend request would be awkward as well- esp co- workers. I don’t have that built in gene that makes me crave attention on a daily basis for everyday things– living on FB says a lot about you.

  • Levente

    I was just telling a friend today that I am ready for FB to go away. I’m just tired of it. It’s a lot of upkeep.

  • lefty

    I’ve been stepping up my Twitter game. I feel like a horse’s butt if I update my Facebook status more than once a day.

    • Kevin

      After years of saying I would never sign up for Twitter, I finally signed up for Twitter. Now that I’ve signed up for it, I realize Twitter is actually even more useless than I originally imagined!

      • lefty

        It really is…but when I sit in front of a computer at work all day it has its minor benefits…

      • Kevin

        Understandable. The site is blocked at my job (oddly, Facebook is not) and I don’t really use the Twitter app on my phone at all… mainly because I’m usually playing Words with Friends on the phone.

      • Jay

        Twitter is really kinda useless unless you really, really want to be a part of the next Twitter feud before EW.com publishes the whole thing.

  • Mike


  • Anthony

    I think it is because sites like these are fads. No one still uses MySpace, Friendster, or the like. I predict someone will come up with the next huge service in 5 years.

    • etm

      I agree. I never signed up for facebook. My friend was trying to convince me to do it recently and I was like “I’m not going to do it NOW!”

  • Yup Yup

    Real sex. No need for a computer this time.

  • dave

    it could be because FB is boring.

  • Carrie

    I know once upon a time i chose to “like” all sorts of stuff but now I barely look at Facebook because my feed is just filled with tons upon tons of stuff. It is just too overwhelming to deal with anymore. Plus I had no idea some of my friends would think it was cool to publish inane crap all the time, “I am sorting my socks today.”

    • Yup Yup

      “I am sorting the un-jerked-off-in socks.”

    • Brooke

      This is exactly my problem. It’s too overwhelming, I can’t hide feeds from my phone and it’s just gotten kind of boring.

  • Daniel F

    It’s the summer.

  • crispy

    I’ve worked for three major websites, and EVERY site loses traffic from April to May. People spend less time online in the summer. This is not rocket science.

    • Kevin

      Read the article… it’s not that traffic is down, it’s that MEMBERSHIP is down. People are actually closing out accounts.

      • crispy

        That’s not true. People are not closing their accounts. I did read the article (assuming you mean the article that EW is referencing, but my guess is you don’t) as well as the update notated at the top of it. They use a third-party tool that monitors active user traffic and they use that data (as well as other sources) to extrapolate user numbers. It’s still based on seasonal traffic.

      • Kevin

        My bad! You’re right. Sorry to come across as snarky in my previous comment… wasn’t my intention (but upon re-reading it, I sound like a d-bag!).

      • crispy

        Haha, it’s all good. :)

      • John

        That’s not true…membership is in quotes….it refers to members who have checked their accounts.

  • Christian

    The article clearly states that this is the first time since Facebook’s inception that it has gone down in traffic. You can’t blame summer for that! People are finally sick of that POS site, thankfully!

    • Cosi

      And you felt the need to comment on its status. How novel.

  • Mike

    I got off over a year ago and have not missed it once. It just simply is too creepy. I do not want everyone to know every little thing about me.

    I like a poster above have stepped up my Twitter activity. (post maybe 6-7 times a week) But its a heck of a lot less of a personal invasion than Facebook was becoming.

    • Jay

      Its been a year since you’ve “gotten off”, and you dont miss it??

      I think there’s a pill you can take to restore your sex-drive. Check with your doctor

      • Allen

        HA! I was thinking the same thing.

  • Mel

    I like that I can keep up with friends from around the world much more easily. It’s good to know what folks are up to. (But, you know, when it’s convenient for me.) However, if I have to read One More Dam n Post about what your kids ate for lunch, I am going to smash my computer to pieces.

    • Karen

      Lol, Mel!!!!!! Ain’t it the truth!

  • Karen

    Since they have blocked everyone from seeing comments your friends make on the status of your non-friends, it has severely limited the conversations you can comment on or ‘like’. It just sucks all the way around.

    I liked it when they could just block you or select “friends only” if they didn’t want you to see or comment. FB is now worse than Twitter.


      @Karen— re your 1st sentence… HUH? English please.

  • Caryn

    I can’t stand facebook anymore–and what I hate more than anything is people checking in places. UGH-I really love when people tell me they are sick and can’t go out and then I see that they are ‘checked in’ to some place nearby. It’s just so bogus. I’m so over facebook.

    • Jay

      @Caryn: This is like saying you are mad at the phone when a friend blows you off.
      None of what you mentioned has much to do with Facebook. Its just your friends being douches.

      Time for some new friends… or you can keep blaming Facebook if that helps you sleep at night

      • Caryn

        @Jay it’s just the stupidity that goes along with facebook–this ‘checking in’ crap. That was more of what I meant. I don’t need to know what people are doing all the time–doesn’t anyone care about their privacy?!

      • Ralphie

        No, she makes a valid point. People are that dumb. I know a girl who got fired for it…she called out sick, went to the beach, posted about it and a coworker ratted her out. She had had a pattern of absences on Mondays, and it was just cause!


      • Ally

        If you want your privacy- simply don’t check in? I like to check in- and I get friends commenting and saying- “hey, we are down the street come meet us!” and it actually comes in handy to meet up with people that I might not get to see everyday. I would blame your friends for not wanting to hang out with you instead of fb.

      • Caryn

        I guess I explained myself wrong–I am not blaming facebook for not hanging out with people, what I don’t like about facebook is the whole check in thing. Maybe I’m just in a different mindset than other people. I do use facebook to keep in touch with friends who are out of state, but I don’t feel like I have to tell everyone what I’m doing all the time, however, maybe that is just me. I’m sorry if I didn’t communicate that properly.

    • Ralphie

      Or when a friend or relative can only post social changes or good news on there! I’ve never had a FB account, refuse to get one (lots of gray areas for educators anyway) but I’m beyond irritated that for example, my college roommate can’t pick up a phone and tell me she’s pregnant. If you only put that crap on FB, I’m free and clear of giving you a gift.

      • Caryn

        Yes–thank you, that too! No one wants to see your ultrasound pictures on facebook! Keep them for yourselves!

      • Jay

        Not true, Caryn: I was very happy to see my good friends ultrasound pics posted.

        Just curious…. how old are you? My guess is your of an older generation

      • Caryn

        Jay-I’m 26, but I guess to me certain things like my ultrasound I would want to keep private. Maybe that’s me. I will say when I got engaged, my fiance and I dreaded putting it on facebook because all of the people you are ‘friends’ with on there feel entitled to know all of your business. As someone said earlier you have to censor everything because of all of the different people on there now.

      • Ally

        Once again- if you want to keep your ultrasound private- dont post it?? And if you hate seeing what’s going on in people’s lives- dont log on?? Im curious- what do you get on facebook to actually do???

      • Ralphie

        I meant more that no one actually makes the effort to share good news anymore! If you don’t bother checking someone’s FB page, you’re out of the loop.

        Like I said, I don’t have FB bc as an educator, there are just too many “what if” areas for me. I’ll call you with my good or bad news, but don’t assume I’ll know yours.

        Ive got no issues with ultrasound pics but I’d never do it myself!

    • Smotch

      Perhaps you need real “friends”. It’s not Zuckerberg’s fault that your friends are a-holes!

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