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Facebook – Will the giant fall or not?

Facebook (NYSE: FB) is in the middle of a storm right now with anti-trust probes and even calls for a breakup of the company. In the midst of this, other smaller rivals are slowly picking up pace and gaining territory. Let’s see if Facebook’s rivals are slowly chipping away at it and if the giant will fall anytime soon.

Facebook reported its first quarter 2019 results in April. Looking at the trend for daily active users (DAUs) by region over the past two years, the numbers indicate that user growth has pretty much stagnated in the US and Canada during this period, growing just 2%.

Facebook daily active users quarterly trend

Although Europe has seen growth, it has been at a slow rate of 7%. However, in Asia-Pacific and the Rest of the World, user numbers have grown steadily, with increases of 40% and 20% respectively over the two-year period.

The monthly active users (MAUs) figures show a similar trend with the US and Canada region growing by 3% and Europe rising by 8%. Meanwhile Asia-Pacific saw an increase of 37% and the Rest of the World grew by 21% during the same two-year period. The strong growth in these emerging markets have helped Facebook maintain a steady increase in its global user count.

Facebook monthly active users quarterly trend

The average revenue per user was highest in the US and Canada at $30.12 while in Europe, it was $9.55. Compared to this, the numbers are small in the other two geographies with Asia-Pacific generating $2.78 and the Rest of the World bringing in $1.89. Taken together, these metrics have helped Facebook hold its ground.

Looking at market share trends, two years ago, Facebook held close to 75% of the market share worldwide while Pinterest held over 11% and Twitter had just over 6%. But looking at the numbers in May 2019, Facebook’s share has fallen to around 70% while Pinterest has raised its share to 13.6%. Twitter stands at over 6%.

market share of social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube

Looking at the US alone, Facebook had a market share of over 66% around two years ago and this number stands at 45% in May 2019. Pinterest went from 21% to 30% during this time frame while Twitter rose slightly from 6% to 7%.

In Asia, over the two-year period, Facebook’s share has fallen only slightly from 81% to 79%. Twitter remains pretty much the same at 6% while Pinterest went from 2% to 4%. In Europe, Facebook’s share remains relatively unchanged at 76% while Pinterest has grown from 8% to 11%. Twitter saw a drop from 5% to 4% during the period.

Also see: Pinterest, Reddit more popular than Twitter in the US

While Facebook faces increased competition from other social media platforms in the US, the company still has growth opportunities in emerging markets. Although the social media firm’s current problems are allowing its rivals to chip away at its market share, Facebook is strong enough to maintain its footing for now until it gets a better game plan in place. In other words, the giant might not fall just yet.

Facebook’s shares have gained 26% so far this year. The stock was up 3% in afternoon hours on Friday.  

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