Facebook’s UK market share drops over fake news, Cambridge Analytics scandal


By Justinas Baltrusaitis

Giant social media platform Facebook market share across the United Kingdom has declined by at least 23% from August 2019. Data gathered by LearnBonds.com shows that by January 2020, Facebook market share in the UK was 37.27%, after a five-month decline.

In August 2019, Facebook had a share of 60.51%, which dropped to 58.09% in September. The users experienced a drastic drop in October to hit 44.6%. This was the first figure recorded below 50%. The numbers further plunged in November and December to 43.49% and 40.18% respectively.

It is worth noting that the data does not include other Facebook products like WhatsApp and Instagram.

Facebook experienced the largest market share in January 2017 when it controlled about 87.08% of the market. From this period, Facebook’s web visit share in the UK embarked on a downward trajectory with notable fluctuations.

Apart from the current declined figures, Facebook’s slowest numbers were also recorded in June 2018 at 55.92%. The users then spiked by at least 10% to hit 64.54% in July 2018. A month later, there was a slight drop in users to record 64.21%.

By September of the same year, there was a significant growth when users stood at 68.65%. In three years, Facebook managed to hit highs of 70.81% in December 2018, before a downward trajectory began.

Between November 2015 and September 2016, Facebook users in the UK remained consistent above 80%. During this period, the highest number of users was recorded in March 2016 at 82.56% while the lowest number was in August 2016 at 80.25%.

The decline in Facebook’s UK market share can be attributed to factors like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, that questioned the social media’s platform to protect user’s private data.

Facebook still dominates the UK market

Despite losing users, Facebook still holds the top spot with a share of 37.27%. However, the microblogging platform Twitter is closing on Facebook with a share of 35.71%. If Facebook continues to decline in market share, Twitter might emerge as the top social networking platform across the UK.

On the other hand, the photo-sharing platform Instagram is the third-ranked UK social media platform at 14.33%. Interestingly, Pinterest (9.14%) ranks fourth ahead of Youtube (0.99%) which closes the top five categories.

During the 2018 financial report, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that the drop in users was being saturated in the developed world. He pointed out that the platform continues to witness growth outside Europe.

In a bid to restore its image, Facebook has engaged several content moderators to remove fake news. Fake news was among the reason behind the #DeleteFacebook movement that emerged towards the end of 2016. The platform has been receiving heat for spreading misinformation regarding the 2016 United States presidential elections.

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Justinas Baltrusaitis
Justin is an editor, writer, and a downhill fan. He spent many years writing about finances, blockchain, and crypto-related news. He strives to serve the untold stories for the readers.