When is a customer not a customer? How many times can you count a customer? Simple questions, but as we are finally learning from Facebook, not all is what it appears to be. "In a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the social media company said that as many as 83 million of its accounts are fake." Out of the latest number of 955 million subscribers, that is a whopping 8.7%. In addition, 5% of the accounts are duplicates and another "1.5 percent of its accounts are likely spam or accounts set up for other malicious activity." So all in, almost 15% are not true uniques. And that is what is uncovered today. How many set up pages for their pets or use different email addresses for different accounts. And of the true accounts, how many are active and how many are DOA.
Obviously the total remaining number is still large and valuable to marketers. But the bottom line is for businesses to measure its ROI, it needs to have real numbers that can be analyzed properly. For now, the stock market is concerned as subscriber growth has slowed and the false accounts are being separated from the real ones.