Difficult days for Facebook as share price and user base fall
It is turning into a a difficult couple of days for Facebook. On the back of a report by Capstone analyst Rory Maher, their share price has dropped below the $30 a share mark that they have been recently trading at to close at $28.09 yesterday. At one point it was as low as $27.45 — more than $10 off of its IPO price.
The drop had a knock on price on closely linked gaming company Zynga, whose stock closed at a $4.58, showing that they need to develop beyond being ‘The Facebook Game Company”.
According to AllThingsD, the report that prompted this fall found that “Facebook’s US user base declined by 1.1% over the last six months, with an additional decrease in Facebook’s European user base.”
Additionally CNET reports that, “14 of the 23 markets where Facebook has been successful saw a decline or little growth over the past three months,”.
Facebook Executives had though predicted this in their S-1 filing for IPO:
“To the extent our active user growth rate slows, our business performance will become increasingly dependent on our ability to increase levels of user engagement in current and new markets.”
This prediction didn’t stop the report spooking the markets though. It also continues something of a trend. Last month a Comscore report showed that there had been a 4.8% drop in unique US visitors to the social network in the first six months of 2012. . Is it a blip or the start of of a long term trend?
More bad news came to Facebook , courtesy of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). It found that despite it’s huge user base, Facebook is actually the social network with the lowest customer satisfaction rating.
In a statement, ASCI say:
“Facebook’s drop coincides with the release of its Timeline profile, a significant change to the look and organization of its pages. Users complain that they cannot opt out of the new profile design.”
Google+ was the social network with the highest customer satisfaction rating, with people liking it’s integration with other Google services like Gmail.
More worryingly for Facebook, ASCI found that the Google+ mobile app is popular with users, giving them a strong foundation in an area in which Facebook is still week.
Of course, this could all simply mean that the only people that use Google+ really like it, (although it is an awful lot smaller), but it is still worrying news for the monolithic Facebook. Indeed Google can be rather happy with the ASCI report overall, as YouTube finished just one place below Google+, and Google was the highest ranking search engine. Wikipedia had same customer satisfaction ranking as Google+ of 78 out of 100.