Rumor: Facebook lost 6 million accounts in the US [Update]

Has Facebook reached its peak of popularity, at least here in the US? While the massive social networking site is still growing and approaching the 700 million mark, its overall worldwide growth has actually slowed, according to data from the Inside Facebook web site. The site claims that Facebook had 687 million users by the start of June. The site gained 11.8 million more users in May, following 13.9 million users last April. However the site claims that typically Facebook gained 20 million users per month over the past 12 months.

Part of the reason for the possible slower growth is that Facebook actually lost users here in the US. Inside Facebook claims that US users fell from 155.2 million to 149.4 million in May, a decrease of about 6 million users. The site says that this is the first time in the past year that the US actually lost Facebook users. Our neighbors to the north in Canada also abandoned Facebook last month; it went down by 1.52 million users to 16.6 million. Other countries like the UK, Norway and Russia also lost Facebook customers.

In a follow up story, however, Inside Facebook states that "a person close to the company tells us that the site is 'still growing in the US.'" In addition, the web site also used third party sites like Compete, comScore, Google Ad Planner and Quantcast to see if Facebook's growth is slowing. The results were inconclusive with some sites recording growth and others showing declines.

Update - In a story on the BBC web site, a Facebook spokesperson denied that Facebook was losing users, saying, "Some of these reports use data extracted from our advertising tool, which provides broad estimates on the reach of Facebook ads and isn't designed to be a source for tracking the overall growth of Facebook." However it did not provide specific numbers that showed growth for the site.

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Deactivated my fb account last week, only to learn that its not really deactivated until a specified amount of time. Problem is, I dont know how long that is. Anyone know?

More like Failbook.

It's funny when people complain about Facebook simply because they have a poor selection of friends. I'm truly sorry if your friends don't post anything worth reading...

I have never understood why so many hate on Facebook. It's just a passive-communication channel. You can use it however you want and filter out all the drama fairly easy.

Facebook has over-extended its reach. I see the value of being able to stay in touch with friends you've made at unviersity or somewhere else, but the detail inherent in the majority of users' profiles is overkill. I despise it! I cancelled my account last year about learning the dangers and insanity that has been produced by the site: From third-parties using personal photos for advertisements to cases of victimization and rape.

It is a scary thing. I fear for the future generations of kids that will know too much about social media and less about safe use of the internet!

All the social network concept should change. They focus on people checking about others' life. People don't even have time for their own, why should they care about what someone ate in dinner? I made a FB account. I cancelled it 1 month later...

Aghares said,
All the social network concept should change. They focus on people checking about others' life. People don't even have time for their own, why should they care about what someone ate in dinner? I made a FB account. I cancelled it 1 month later...

Poor you. Hundreds of millions of people understand Facebook is the best way to IM your friends and is excellent for sharing photos with all your friends, etc.

andrewbares said,

Poor you. Hundreds of millions of people understand Facebook is the best way to IM your friends and is excellent for sharing photos with all your friends, etc.

And hundreds of millions of people entusiastically embraced "The great proletarian cultural revolution" in 1966.... and then abandoned it, well the ones who survived it, in the early '70s.

What young teenagers blindly posted on FB will hunt them all their life.......

Accounts or persons? I would be not surprised if this -6 milions Facebook users = - 6 milions Zynga player accounts. I am sure this 687 millions are far away from 687 persons.

To be honest... I think Facebook is bigger than MySpace ever was. Hell it has a movie made from it. So I dont think that Facebook will follow in MySpaces path. Facebook has no equal for the moment.

xbamaris said,
To be honest... I think Facebook is bigger than MySpace ever was. Hell it has a movie made from it. So I dont think that Facebook will follow in MySpaces path. Facebook has no equal for the moment.
The bigger they are, the harder the fall.

zikalify said,
Diaspora anyone? (please dont say you tried it and its buggy, its in alpha)
I've tried it and it's not that buggy. I didn't like it because it felt like a distributed scaled-down version of Facebook. I did not feel like I have any more control over the data I post than I have on Facebook. Maybe I'm wrong.

I know a lot of people that have cancelled their FB accounts. People don't actually use it for what it was intended, it's turned into myspace now, it's a huge drama hub. Then, you have scandals like weinergate ...

vip said,
I know a lot of people that have cancelled their FB accounts. People don't actually use it for what it was intended, it's turned into myspace now, it's a huge drama hub. Then, you have scandals like weinergate ...

I thought that was on Twitter

vip said,
I know a lot of people that have cancelled their FB accounts. People don't actually use it for what it was intended, it's turned into myspace now, it's a huge drama hub. Then, you have scandals like weinergate ...

it's all depends on the friends that you have on your list

swanlee said,
Pretty sure Facebook will eventually jump the shark just like myspace did.

Yeah, people into Facebook seem so...desperate. I've never understood the hype.

Skwerl said,

Yeah, people into Facebook seem so...desperate. I've never understood the hype.

Man, do I hear you on that one!!

Most people post some of the dumbest stuff that no one in their right mind would want to even look at it, let alone read it.

Yep,
Exactly why they're going for their IPO.

I think a couple of people don't understand the term "jump the shark." If you jump the shark (as what literally happened in Happy Days) then you take something too far, beyond recovery.

Those of you that are hoping Facebook dies should be hoping that it does jump the shark, not that it doesn't.

Skwerl said,

Yeah, people into Facebook seem so...desperate. I've never understood the hype.
I am with you on that.

It's inevitable that growth will slow down as Facebook saturates its main demographic. What they need to do now is keep hold of their current users and expand into other demographics to maintain growth. I haven't really seen much of either recently.

Examinus said,
It's inevitable that growth will slow down as Facebook saturates its main demographic. What they need to do now is keep hold of their current users and expand into other demographics to maintain growth. I haven't really seen much of either recently.

and this explains why they are going for their IPO soon.. trying to sell while they are huge..