83 Million Facebook Users Are Fake, The Negative Impact On User Experience

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83 Million Facebook Users Are Fake, The Negative Impact On User Experience:

Looking to grow your network on Facebook? Beware of fake friends.  No, not fake friends as in haters or people in your network that are ‘frienemies’ – people that befriend you but actually don’t like you.  Fake friends are actually rampant on Facebook.  Almost 1 out of every 10 people on Facebook aren’t really possible friends.  Facebook just revealed that 83 million of its over 955 million users aren’t real.  That’s 8.7 percent.

The data was disclosed in a Q-10 filing in March 2012 but estimates were that the number was originally 50 million.  This is akin to the Myspace days when growth was so enormous that the spammers got a hold of the site and used it to their advantage.   They had increased incentives with each new profile created.

Here is the breakdown for how many accounts on Facebook are fake:

  • 4.8% being duplicate accounts,
  • 2.4% are user-misclassified accounts
  • 1.5% are “undesirable” accounts, or “spam.”
  • daily banned accounts – 20,000
  • compromised accounts – 600,000 daily

User Experience And Fake Social Media Accounts Are Negatively Correlated

A social network that isn’t rich in terms of user experience will eventually decline in terms of overall usage over time.  Facebook does offer a robust user experience but the growth of spammers and fake accounts will negatively impact visits as well as time on site.  Facebook needs to spend time rooting out fake accounts and maintain the social network’s integrity.   This comparisons to Myspace recently are warranted as the company is suffering from some of the same problems.
First, the desire to make a profit caused Myspace to become too ad heavy which decreased user experience.  Secondly the exponential growth Myspace experienced wasn’t ignored by spammers, fake accounts and those with surreptitious objectives.  Facebook’s problems are eerily similar.
This doesn’t mean there will be a social media replacement for Facebook and it’s still set to hit the 1 billion mark soon.  The question is what’s growing more – real users or fake ones.

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