Opinion: The party is over

POSTED: 02/19/13 12:32 PM

The Netherlands seems to be saturated with social media. Especially Facebook and Twitter see their growth stagnate; social network Hyves saw its numbers tumble and it is now positioned behind twitter and LinkedIn.

Newcom Research and Technology surveyed almost 14,000 respondents aged 15 years and older, the Volkskrant reported yesterday.

The survey shows that 2011 was a very good year for Facebook in the Netherlands. In that year the number of users increased by a staggering 45 percent. But last year the growth was just 3 percent.

Facebook remains the undisputed leader in social network-land with 7.9 million Dutch users; 5 million of them are active on the network every day. Youtube has 7.1 million users but the daily use of Google’s video service is much lower: just 0.9 million. The number of users remained stable during the past couple of years. Newcom projects a slight decrease this year.

Like Facebook, microblog Twitter hardly experienced any growth last year. Newcom projects 3.3 million users for this year, with 1.6 million daily users.

Marketingfacts.nl was on the ball when it predicted that the Dutch social network Hyves would more or less collapse. Two years ago the network had 3 million users, last year there were 1.2 million left. The number of daily users dropped from close to a million in 2011 to around 300,000 last year.

Growth was there however for the professional social network LinkedIn. Last year it added 700,000 new users bringing the total to 3.9 million. Around 0.4 million people use LinkedIn every day. That sounds impressive, but it is the same as 400,000 – slightly higher therefore than the numbers Hyves puts up.

Newcom did not provide an explanation for the decreasing numbers. But like with all products, there is only an X-amount of consumers interested in social networks. And when those numbers hit the ceiling the party is basically over. It’s time for something new.

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