Facebook Is Losing Users In The Countries Where It Took Off First

mark zuckerberg

Photo: AP

Something strange is going on: Facebook is losing customers.Lots of customers. According to Inside Facebook’s data service, Facebook lost 6 million users in the U.S. last month, dropping from 155.2 million to 149.4 million. That’s the first time U.S. numbers have dropped in more than a year.

It also lost 1.52 million users in Canada, dropping to 16.6 million — that’s an 8% drop —  and 100,000 each in the U.K., Norway, and Russia.

Total Facebook users were still up 1.7% thanks to growth in countries where the service got popular later, like Mexico and Brazil.

But big drops in the countries where Facebook first became popular can’t be good news — it suggests that there is a saturation point where people begin to burn out on the service.

Inside Facebook notes that seasonal fluctuations might be partly to blame — for example, the end of the school year happens in June, and that might cause some college graduates to cancel their account. But Inside Facebook has also noticed that growth tends to halt once 50% usage is reached in each country.

This is also the second month in a row with slower than normal growth.

The only way Facebook can keep growing, then, is to add big new countries. Like China.

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