Apparently Facebook will finally float on 17th May, when it’s likely to attract some $100bn of investor funds.
That all feels a little reminiscent of the Dotcom bubble to us, but since every single client has asked whether they should be putting more of their marketing budget into Facebook, here are some facts to consider:
- Click through rates on Facebook ads are negligible and declining (0.063% in 2009, down to 0.051% in 2010). That’s so low the clicks are likely to be accidental. It’s not even a rounding error.
- ‘Liking’ isn’t buying’, as we’ve said before, but here’s yet more proof. Research covering the 200 biggest brands on Facebook found that fewer than 5 out of every thousand who’d clicked ‘like’, subsequently did anything at all to engage with the brand. Was it any better for really cool brands like Harley Davidson? Sure. They scored 6 ‘engagers’ per thousand.
- People are getting bored with Facebook. Average stay has declined 34% in a year (from 26 minutes down to 17 minutes) and page views are down from a high of 100 billion in August 2010 to 48 billion today. That’s a 54% decline in the space of 20 months. Remember FriendsReunited? Exactly.
We reckon Facebook is fast becoming a glorified email and chat client, rather than a serious medium for business. But if you want to invest, well, you know… don’t let us stop you.
UPDATE: more evidence, this time via the Daily Telegraph: Majority of Facebook users do not click on adverts