Monday, June 13, 2011

Has Facebook Peaked?

Facebook is supposedly getting ready to go public in early 2012, but it can't come soon enough if the numbers from Inside Facebook are correct. It appears that even though world-wide Facebook numbers are surging towards 700 million users, the numbers are dropping in the US and Canada.

It seems that the United States recently lost nearly 6 million users, falling from 155.2 million at the start of May to 149.4 million at the end of it, which is the first time the country has lost users in the past year. Canada also fell significantly, by 1.52 million down to 16.6 million, but the United Kingdom, Norway and Russia also all posted losses of more than 100,000.

All of these countries were first adopters of the social network, and could also be the first to shed users to another network (just what is not apparent yet). The site notes that by the time Facebook reaches around 50% of the total population in a given country, growth generally slows to a halt, which is what's apparently happening. As you can see from the chart on the left, there were a number of countries that gained users, but these were all developing countries.

What does this mean? Facebook isn't going away anytime soon, but there are some people that either can't see the point or just plain don't like it. That's always been the case, it's just that it's been a little more so last month. If we see the numbers trend like this for a few more months then we'll know something big is happening, but for now, it's Facebook business as usual.
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