Chart of the Week: Surveys vs. Behavior – Proving the Pew Survey Wrong
Earlier this month, a new survey from Pew Research indicated a shift in U.S. consumer attitudes towards Facebook: Pew reported that nearly three quarters of American adults (ages 18 and over) who use Facebook had changed the way they used the social media platform over the past year and that “1 in 4 Americans deleted the app from their phones.” However, Facebook’s own earnings reports indicate a less dire situation: in its July 2018 call, the platform reported that daily active users were holding stable for users in the U.S. and Canada, with 1% quarterly growth reported.
While surveys can provide insight into prevailing consumer attitudes, they don’t always offer the most accurate view of actual consumer behavior. To get a more accurate picture of the situation, Verto Analytics looked at the installed user base for the Facebook app (that is, the number of users who had the Facebook app installed on their smartphones) for U.S. adult Android users between April-August 2018 to see how consumers are actually using (or not using) the app, and compared these numbers to other leading social media apps, like Snapchat and Instagram.
Facebook’s Installed User Base Actually Shows Growth
According to Verto data, the installed user base for the Facebook app on smartphones remained steady (at about 71% of all smartphone users) in April and May 2018, and then actually increased to nearly 76% by August 2018. What’s more, the usage to install base for the Facebook app remained consistently above 99% across the entire time period, meaning that nearly all users with the Facebook installed on their Android device also used it at least once per month.
The installed user base for Facebook’s Messenger app also showed a similar but more significant growth trajectory, rising from 66% in April 2018 to 73.5% by August 2018. Snapchat and Instagram also exhibited growth among their installed user bases, although at much lower numbers: Instagram peaked at 47% while Snapchat peaked at just over 23%.
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