The world’s foremost social network has been making the headlines a lot lately. Whether it’s significant product updates or rippling changes in their algorithm, Facebook is currently on the radars of anyone and everyone who is familiar with the omnipresent social media company. The big question is: as a publisher, brand, agency or even a regular user, should I still be using Facebook?
Facebook Right Now
Before we cut to the answer, let’s catch you up on Facebook’s timeline (pun intended) of current events. In January 2018, co-founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg announced a core shift in Facebook’s News Feed methodology in light of public ambivalence toward the social network’s algorithm: users had mixed feelings about the way Facebook was prioritizing brand posts over the status updates of their friends and acquaintances. So Zuckerberg declared a site-wide solution—an improved News Feed balanced in favor of meaningful connections—and with the updated mechanics going into implementation, user sentiment had been sanctified.
Skip forward several months into the last days of winter and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is once again in the hot seat, forecasting the torrid days ahead. On March 17th, 2018 it was brought to light that British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica was involved in a Facebook data breach during the U.S. presidential election two years prior. Several news outlets disclosed that the company inappropriately acquired the user data of approximately 50 million Facebook users, kick-starting a whirlwind month of allegations and scrutiny for the once trusted social media company.
Which brings us to now: waist-deep in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Zuckerberg testified before the U.S. Congress last week in an attempt to save face and re-establish confidence with Facebook’s users, investors and the world at large. He answered grueling questions about his company’s data practices and whether or not he’d be willing to cooperate with Congress on establishing a regulation framework for Facebook. Yet despite his two-day congressional appearance, Zuckerberg has seemingly emerged unscathed by the whole thing.
A Confident and Calm CEO
For someone whose company is in the midst of a data scandal, Mark Zuckerberg has remained visibly confident through the fallout. His confidence stems from an impressively composed showing at his hearing with the U.S. Congress, during which Zuckerberg’s impressive composure helped to appease any nervous onlookers who were already on the fence about Facebook when Cambridge Analytica happened.
“I don’t think there has been any meaningful impact we’ve observed,” answered the CEO to the question of whether or not Facebook has seen a change in user / advertiser behavior since news of the scandal broke.
Facebook stock has shown a considerable post-Congress recovery pattern since its sharp drop in the weeks following Cambridge Analytica. Public trust in the ever-popular social network might be dented, but confidence is slowly being strengthened again following the CEO’s cool and collected congressional testimony. With promises to fortify their security framework in order to enhance privacy protection, Facebook is ready and eager to take on the task of redeeming itself.
Should I Keep Using Facebook?
No need to swim against the current here: the answer is yes, you should keep using Facebook. While there were instances of jaded users deleting their Facebook accounts after the Cambridge Analytica fallout, the majority of the social network’s user base has continued to use Facebook. Maybe they’re doing it with a watchful eye, but they’re doing it. So don’t panic—instead, take a cue from the rest of the Zuckerbook flock and continue your usual Facebook usage as well.
If you’ve had any doubts or reservations over the past month concerning your brand’s ongoing use of Facebook, we’ve listed several reasons why you should put them to rest:
- CEO Mark Zuckerberg kept his composure in court
- Facebook, Inc. stock is recovering
- Zuckerberg cites no meaningful impact to user behavior
- Public confidence in Facebook is being renewed
- Company promises to cooperate with the government
- Storyclash data shows Facebook user staying power (see below)
Your confidence in Facebook as a top social media platform for brand engagement should stay intact; keep a watchful eye of course, but press on with your normal Facebook proceedings. Just keep in mind that Facebook will change because the powers that be demand it; as long as you’re ready to adapt to whatever’s coming down the road, you’ll be just fine.
Data Shows Steady Waters
Not only has Mark Zuckerberg himself told the U.S. Congress that Facebook is “business as usual,” our fan-count and interaction data here at Storyclash reveal the same narrative. We used our powerful tool to dig up some statistics over a span of several months and our data shows that Facebook’s total fan-count didn’t just stay consistent at over 205 million users from late 2017 into early 2018… the social network actually kept increasing its total number of fans, hitting 206 million users this past January, 207 million in February, and eventually breaking the 208 million mark just last month. That’s an approximate increase of 1 million users per month from October / November 2017 to now.
What’s more, Facebook’s user interaction data throughout the first quarter of 2018 displays equally optimistic stats (once again obtained using Storyclash Insights). The social network recorded 3.5 billion interactions this past January, 2.9 billion interactions the following February (which—at an average of over 100 million interactions per day—would most likely amount to around 3.1 billion interactions if not for the short month), and then rebounded in March back up to 3.2 billion interactions for the month. The line chart below displays a week-by-week breakdown, showcasing how many hundred-million interactions Facebook experienced on specific days of each corresponding month, at weekly intervals:
The evaluation above is based on the analysis of 20.000 feeds and 20 million posts
What does it all mean? Well, with the number of Facebook fans actually increasing and user engagement totals hovering above 3 billion interactions each month and around 100 million interactions per day, it’s safe to say that people still like Facebook enough to—well—hit their Like button. The social network’s usage hasn’t taken a major hit and, the Cambridge Analytica data scandal notwithstanding, individual users and companies alike are carrying on with their normal Facebook agendas. It’s just like Zuckerberg stated, so keep calm and carry on.
Stay the Course with Storyclash
Storyclash Insights allows you to interpret your own social media data as well as that of your competition; it’s exactly the dashboard tool you need to monitor your brand’s social engagement while the dust settles from all this Facebook commotion. Compile real-time metrics and make data-driven decisions while benchmarking your competition. Try it out using our no-strings-attached free trial and see for yourself how Storyclash can make you as confident in your social media as Mark Zuckerberg.
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Tagged with: Cambridge Analytica • Facebook • Facebook analytics • Social Media • Social Media Trends • Storyclash • Storyclash Insights • Zuckerberg