Facebook Is at Last Starting to Lose Its Friends

Daily Mail (London), June 14, 2011 | Go to article overview

Facebook Is at Last Starting to Lose Its Friends


Byline: From Daniel Bates in New York

TIRED of social networking? Logging off Facebook? You're probably not the only one.

Fearing for their privacy or perhaps just bored with the site, millions worldwide are said to have deactivated their accounts last month.

And Facebook fatigue is spreading - the rate of growth has slowed for a second month in a row.

In Ireland, users grew by 53,580 last month, an increase of 2.7 per cent. However, in the U.S., Canada and Britain, user numbers actually fell.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg - who visited the company's European headquarters in Dublin earlier this month - famously has the ambition to reach one billion users.

But in order to reach that target, Facebook is relying on developing countries like India and Mexico to boost its numbers.

These latest figures suggest that there could be a 'natural limit' for Facebook's saturation.

There is even speculation on blogs that, as is feared for its failing rival MySpace, the website could one day disappear 'into oblivion'.

In the U.S, Facebook users dropped by 5.8million during May. In Canada there was also a fall of about 1.5million. More than 100,000 UK users deleted their accounts.

But it's not all bad news. Worldwide, Facebook is still expanding and has around 600million users.

According to Social Bakers, one of the biggest Facebook statistics portals in the world, there are around 1,995,000 users in Ireland - meaning roughly 43 per cent of the population has an account. We rank at number 57 for countries with the most Facebook users in the world.

Eric Eldon, of the website Inside Facebook, said there is a point at which the site can no longer grow, once it has established itself in a country.

'By the time Facebook reaches around 50 per cent of the total population in a given country, growth generally slows to a halt,' he explained. …

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