Four out of five Facebook users have never bought a product or service as a result of advertising or comments on the social network site, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows, the latest sign that much more needs to be done to turn its 900 million customer base into advertising dollars.
The online poll also found that 34% of Facebook users surveyed were spending less time on the website than six months ago, whereas only 20% were spending more.
The findings underscore investors’ worries about Facebook's money-making abilities that have pushed the stock down 29% since its initial public offering last month, reducing its market value by $30 billion to roughly $74 billion.
About 44% of respondents said the market debut, seen by investors as troubled, has made them less favorable toward Facebook, according to the survey. In the May 31-June 4 poll of 1,032 Americans, 21% said they had no Facebook account.
Facebook’s 900 million users make it among the most popular online destinations, challenging entrenched Internet players such as Google and Yahoo.
A February study by research firm eMarketer suggested Facebook fared worse than email or direct-mail marketing in terms of influencing consumers’ decisions. “It shows that Facebook has work to do in terms of making its advertising more effective and more relevant to people,” eMarketer analyst Debra Williamson said.