Storm clouds are forming around Facebook's long-awaited and highly-anticipated IPO. Of course, Facebook is a stupendous success, blowing away all expectations (thus far) and literally transforming how we spend our time online, as Netpop covered in our last Market Minute "Social Media Madness". But alas, all is not well in Facebook-land: pageviews are down 54 percent; average stay is down 35 percent; visits per person is down 34 percent; and pages per visit is down 60 percent. No single factor can fully explain these declines, but one factor should not be overlooked: concerns about online privacy.
This is one trend line that happens to be going UP rather than down. But that's NOT good news for Facebook. More users (29% percent more) are having second thoughts about the privacy of the personal information they share on social media sites. This equates to a whopping 101% increase in the total number of social networkers who fit a category that can best be described as:
"Uh. Wait a Minute. What's Really Going on Here?"
Basically, while more users have joined the social networking bandwagon (thanks, in large part, to Facebook), these newer users are more squeamish about privacy, and would presumably be much less forgiving of any perceived breaches in this area.
Netpop's latest Market Minute, "Privacy Matters", touches on this topic. It's a quick walk-through of data that illuminate one factor making Facebook's future less sunny.. unless it does more to quell users' concerns. Watch it below, and feel free to share and embed: