Facebook Revenue Soars as Usable Real Estate Plummets

Facebook's Secret Message to Me

Facebook’s Secret Message to Me (Photo credit: boltron-)

I used to really love Facebook.   I loved it not only for personal use, but for business use as well.  I still have multiple Facebook accounts that I manage for my business and of course, my personal account. I used to visit my Facebook feed several times a day.   I did it to look for news, what my friends were saying, the few photographers I follow, some gardening pages that are really high quality, and to keep up with my direct reports at work.

I’ve visited my Facebook page twice in the last week.  Once was to tell my daughter who’s studying abroad in Copenhagen that we wanted to chat with her on …. wait for it…. Skype.  I’d normally just chat her on Facebook.  I’m bummed that I don’t want to go there anymore.

So, as a social media manager and a lover of all things social, some of you are probably shocked at this attitude.  Let me tell you how a long-time Facebook user and enthusiast ended up jaded and frustrated.  It’s all about usable real estate:

I Mean REALLY, Look at All Those Ads

At some point, any site that depends on ads for its primary source of revenue has to go overboard on the ads due to the almighty dollar, and I think I know when Facebook finally went over the line.

The only thing I really like to look at is my news feed.  There are other features in Facebook, but the news feed right in the middle is what everyone likes and uses the most.  So, I got frustrated one day and graphed out the changes in the Facebook UI over time, and compared that to company revenue.

Check it out:

I went back in time all the way to 2010 and looked at a LOT of screen shots of Facebook’s UI changes over time. I used screenies from all over the place, including a Facebook UI timeline I found on SlideShare that was easy to thumb through.

I then checked the estimated and projected yearly revenue for Facebook from 2010 until today and graphed it out.  Here’s what I came up with:



So, the X axis is the year.  Obviously :)

The Y axis means two different things.

The BLUE LINE is the usable real estate as a percentage, in my terms.  I got this percentage by doing the following:

  • I analyzed screenshots from 2010 forward of what the Facebook news feed page looks like
  • I compared the horizontal pixels used by the news feed box to the total width of the frame
  • I turned that comparison into a percentage of usable horizontal real estate.

The RED LINE is the yearly (or estimated yearly) gross revenue for Facebook, in HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS.  So for example, in 2010 Facebook brought in around $2 billion.

For me, reading the graph, I was still a satisfied user back in 2012 when the horizontal real estate was OK.

You know what happened in 2012?  Facbook got CLOBBERED on the street.  They got panned for their lack of a good approach for mobile revenue, which prompted the pretty drastic decrease in usable real estate.  But it wasn’t just adapting to mobile.

They’re simply cramming too many ads down my throat now.

They’re even sprinkling them in my news feed, polluting what once was a hefty stream of consciousness from all of my trusted friends and companies.

If that graph continues like that, we’ll start seeing Facebook posting losses because people WILL leave in droves.  Mark my words, Facebook :)

I’ll tell you what Facebook.  Two years down the road, I’ll throw another data line into the graph that shows active users of the platform and we’ll do the same exercise!!

Till next time,


Indoor Sowing First Plants for Spring

Since it snowed this week, we moved indoors and sowed a few plants indoors.

We planted:

  • 11 flats of bunching onions (about 4″ diameter of planting space per flat)
  • 26 onion bulbs in itsy-bitsy peat pots
  • 4 Broccoli seeds in slightly larger peat pots

In the coming weeks, we’ll be planting tomatos, peppers, thyme, cilantro, and parsley indoors as well.

I’ve had this 250 watt fluorescent grow lamp forever, and used to grow all of the herbs above indoors during the winter months so I could cook with fresh herbs.  So lucky me, I had a good indoor sow lamp without investing additional money into the garden.  The wattage should be sufficient enough to grow quite a few seedlings.

Duct Tape Station at the MacGyver Class

Duct Tape Station at the MacGyver Class (Photo credit: Team Tanenbaum)

We’ve also just gone out to the hardware store and bought a bunch of materials to start building our garden enclosure.  I’ll spare you the details of everything we got, but it’s things like fence post 4x4s, nails, chicken wire, plastic netting, stakes, duct tape (’cause you always need duct tape when you go into MacGyver mode!

Until next time :)

  • Supplies Purchased to-date:
    • 3 shovels (1 square and 2 round head)
    • 1 hoe
    • 1 order of seeds
    • A ton of materials to plant posts and enclose the garden area
  • Total Spent to-date: $384
  • Total Value in Harvested Vegetables:  $0

Picks and Shovels and Clay – Turning the Soil

Oh boy this last week has been fun :)

We have been turning over the soil in our garden for the last 10 days.  We’re using shovels for the initial turnover.  We decided that it’d be our exercise program for getting in shape for spring.  Our yard is also not ready for spring so we’re out there raking, trimming, clipping, and burning leaves.  I feel like a proper back-woods guy now.

One thing I should mention…. digging in hard clay is hard work.  REALLY hard work. Secondly, we found out that we REALLY need to amend this soil with more drainage and more loamy materials rich in nitrogen and other nutrients.

Snowy PatchAbout mid-way through the week, a very unusual ice storm hit our area, and covered our (turned once) garden plot into a snowy patch of empty ground!  we were covered with snow for three days.  Note the 1/2 inch of ice at the top of this PVC pipe.  It was COLD and rained ice for probably 10 straight hours.  In case we needed reminder that it was still wintertime!!

Our plan after the ice melts is to get a rototiller, get a bunch of soil amendment materials, and till the good stuff in with the bad stuff.  Then we start building the enclosure for our veggies!!

  • Supplies Purchased to-date:
    • 3 shovels (1 square and 2 round head)
    • 1 hoe
    • 1 order of seeds
  • Total Spent to-date: $150
  • Total Value in Harvested Vegetables:  $0