It’s about time we questioned the value of some of the data being provided by independent firms about traffic and usage of social networks. Take Socialbakers, for example, which is currently in a spat with The Guardian over the latter’s use of its data in a piece headlined “Facebook loses millions of users as biggest markets peak”. The article uses Socialbakers‘ data to claim that Facebook lost 6m US visitors in the last month, and 1.4m British visitors. Yet Socialbakers CEO Jan Rezab has attacked the piece in a blog post: “The Facebook stats found on our page are not primarily intended for journalists, but rather Ad estimates for marketers,” he writes, three months after a similar row with the Guardian. “We state, quite clearly, on our site that these figures are rough estimates and cannot be used to determine Facebook traffic… The bottom line here is that there is no story.” Although one wonders how useful such “rough estimates” really are for marketers, if they’re not accurate enough to be cited by journalists.
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