Although Facebook traffic grew worldwide, U.S. traffic fell by 6 million users in May, an industry group reported.
Facebook reached 687 million users in May, according to Inside Facebook, but despite the monthly audience rising 1.7 percent, growth has been declining since March. Traffic fell in North America and several other regions.
Most prominently, the United States lost nearly 6 million users, falling from 155.2 million at the start of May to 149.4 million at the end of it. This 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, although it has been fluctuating around that number for the past year. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom, Norway and Russia all posted losses of more than 100,000.
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Not surprisingly, Facebook's growth is slowing because it's reached saturation in many countries. (The country posting the biggest Facebook gain was Brazil, where Google's Orkut has a solid base.). In countries like the U.S. where Facebook penetration is fairly deep, growth can only be small or nonexistent.
But does the drop to 149 million users mean the end of our country's fascination with Facebook? It's a possibility, but what will fill in the gap for those 6 million people? Real life?