Report: Facebook is the only shrinking social network

Influential Internet analyst Mary Meeker says the category is growing overall -- except for one company.

By Aimee Picchi May 31, 2013 1:45PM

Facebook logo (© Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)One-time Internet darling Facebook (FB) might be fading, according to a report from the influential former Internet analyst Mary Meeker. 

Mary Meeker was crowned the queen of the Net in the late 1990s, when her calls on early Internet companies helped form the reputations of pioneers such as Netscape and eBay (EBAY). She issues a report every year called "The State of the Internet."

Released Wednesday, the latest version includes some startling tidbits, such as the comparison of social media usage from 2011 to 2012. While Facebook is still the most-used social media network, it was the only service to suffer a decline last year, her report notes. Meanwhile, YouTube, Twitter, Google+ and others grew. 

It's just the latest sign that not everything is going gangbusters for Mark Zuckerberg's creation. As the company recently marked the anniversary of its flubbed IPO, another study found the site could have as many as 100 million accounts that are actually pets and brands

Media titan Rupert Murdoch has even issued a dire warning, writing on Twitter this month: "Look out Facebook! Hours spent participating per member dropping seriously. First really bad sign as seen by crappy MySpace years ago." (Murdoch's News Corp. (NWS) bought MySpace for $580 million, only to sell it several years later for a reported $35 million.)

The 117-page report from Meeker, who now works for venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, includes topics as varied as data on recent tech IPOs and immigration and high-tech workers. Here are four additional facts gleaned from the report:

Five big tech companies need to fill 10,000 openings. In her segment about immigration, Meeker notes that IBM (IBM), Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle (ORCL) and Qualcomm (QCOM) alone need to fill 10,000 spots in their U.S. operations. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN moneyNOW, an MSN Money site.)

The biggest Internet companies are in the U.S., but their customers aren't. Eighty percent of the largest global Internet companies -- including Google (GOOG) and Microsoft -- are in the U.S., but 81% of their users are outside the country. 

More than 500 million photos are uploaded and shared -- daily. Internet users love to share their photos, so much so that the daily tally has mounted to more than 500 million. About half are shared on Facebook, but Snapchat now represents about 100 million daily photos, while just two years ago it had a negligible presence. 

Americans aren't big on sharing. Only 15% of Americans say they share "everything" or "most things" online, lower than the world average of 24%. The biggest sharers? Internet users in Saudi Arabia, where 60% say they put it all out there. 

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi. 

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May 31, 2013 3:17PM
Face Book Messed with what was working. That was the mistake. Timeline and more posting of things you would rather not post because to much is going on page to busy. Simplicity was great. Now facebook went to far. Most of my friends are not using much and we all complained that it has been ruined.
Jun 1, 2013 12:38AM
My nephew sends me pictures of what he is about to eat in a restaurant.  I don't really care.
Jun 1, 2013 2:14AM
Another thing I don't like about Facebook is their tracking everyone, even people who don't have a facebook account.  They want to track everyone and so many sites are allowing facebook to track their members.  I say Naw it ain't happening with me. 
Jun 1, 2013 2:10AM
Well, it is good to finally hear some folks are giving up on facebook.  I never could understand the fascination with it.  Now people should have more free time for meaningful stuff.  I always felt like facebook was for people that didn't have a life or for those who had an uncontrollable desire to know about other people's lives because they themselves don't have a life. 
May 31, 2013 9:44PM
Things really started to go downhill after it went public. The more they try to squeeze money from the users the more people will slip through their grasp and go to other online sharing networks.
May 31, 2013 11:15PM
Soon as my 30 yr class reunion is over so is facebook. It just gets stupider with updates and pop ups.
May 31, 2013 10:14PM
I must be one of the few people who still to this day has never had a Facebook account . Back in the day I had an ICQ account and now I have a Skype account but that's it .
Jun 1, 2013 2:33AM
Perhaps, if they had simply stayed with the core concept & executed it well...but nooo.
Instead of running efficiently, they focus on throwing garbage ads into feeds for crap I have no interest in & changing my preferences on friends. Yeah thats sooo great service.
No big surprise when greed overtakes every other aspect of a business as the priority.
May 31, 2013 10:43PM

Here comes the tumbleweeds Facebook...

Jun 1, 2013 10:06AM
does facebook dumb you down? just asking. never used it. curious, is all.
Jun 1, 2013 7:27PM

Made the big mistake of signing up for Facebook about a year ago. Signed in once and never again.


Almost immediately began receiving loads of spam, luckily most of it filtered out, but I think they suck up your contact list, then people open up stuff thinking it's from me, but it's not and they suck up my friends address books, etc....


I've never been back, yet to this day still receive spam, all looking like it's legitimate email from people I know. Never happened until I signed onto Facebook.


They lost me as a customer on my first day.

Jun 1, 2013 12:09AM
People seem to use Facebook as their diary for everybody to see.  I once filed a report about some individuals posting pictures of drug use on their page and was told there wasn't nothing wrong with it and the pictures would remain.  I'm not sure sex and drugs and drama were something meant for Facebook.  I will delete my account.
Jun 3, 2013 7:49AM
Do 100's of people really care that an insecure 'Jane Smith' just bought a new pair of shoes and feels that the world needs to gawk at them.... I COULDN'T CARE LESS !!.... If I need to share a pic I'll do so in an email or text msg I don't need facebook to take over admin rights to my photos - or need my life that public...
Jun 3, 2013 5:31AM

Once you understand that Facebook is a business, not run out of a basement by one person in his spare time but by hundreds of employees, 10's of millions in equipment, is dependent on advertising revenue, you learn to use your privacy settings, not play the games that are also businesses dependent on ads, and only "like" or "friend" businesses that you are actually interested in, can gain something from, or offer discounts on things you actually buy it Facebook  is fine.


As for too many dumb posts, well they are from your friends, Facebook can't control your friends posts but you can.


If you are getting spam e-mail it's because you were ignorant of your privacy settings and allowed someone to copy your email address or you gave the advertiser permission. Facebook like every other site does not make revenue from e-mails but from clicking to advertiser links on their pages. Neither facebook nor Google+ or any website can count and charge for an advertiser's e-mails because the chance of an advertiser allowing access to their mailing list is 0.

Jun 1, 2013 9:57PM
Murdoch is a man that can not be trusted!!!
Jun 3, 2013 9:04AM

I Never joined facebook...Saw how much time others wasted on it...

From what I've heard and read...They cant be trusted with Any of your personal info...?

Jun 3, 2013 10:16AM
Just another fad. My kids are never on it anymore. Apparently, they are tired of reading about what their friends are having for dinner.
Jun 3, 2013 10:16AM
Bottom line; FB cannot be trusted, opens you to viruses, sucks up your time, and flogs your data, which it keeps for ever. Very low pay back for its utility.
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