The average length of time users spend on all of the top three sites is on the slide. Bebo, MySpace and Facebook all took double-digit percentage hits in the last months of 2007. December could perhaps be forgiven as a seasonal blip when people see their real friends and family, but the trend was already south.
The "user engagement" is dropping off, which should be of particular concern for the sales people struggling to turn these free services into profit-making businesses.
This time around, expect spinners to work on massaging the comScore figures, and happy-clappy bloggers to leap to social networking's defence by claiming the falls are sign of the market maturing, and of fierce competition. They could be right, but it still means that the individual business are not the goldmine their greedy backers slavered over.
On Facebook people "join, accumulate dozens of semi-friends, spy on a few exes for a bit, play some Scrabulous, get bored, then get on with your life, occasionally dropping in to respond to a message or see some photos that have been posted".
That's exactly what I did! I am nearly healed from the Facebook virus, just logging in once a week. Facebook is so 2007!
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