New U.S. Facebook Users Plummet in June
June figures for new monthly active Facebook users in the U.S. plummeted to 320,800 from a healthy 7.8 million in May — a 96 percent drop, according to Inside Facebook Gold, a tracking firm for the world’s largest social networking site.
Facebook has about 125,000,000 American users and nearly 500 million active users worldwide. According to Inside Facebook Gold, the popular social networking site has gained approximately 5 million new members every month since June 2009 with the exception of March of this year when new members totaled only about 610,000.
Inside Facebook Gold speculated the recent drop may have been a result of Facebook's privacy problems saying we could finally be seeing the backlash from heavy media attention to Facebook privacy issues. Regardless of the cause or causes, the drop occurred among potential members aged 18 – 44 whose absence left a gaping hole between youngsters who joined the site and those aged 45 and older.
Stats show men avoided Facebook more than women. The biggest single decline was among 100,000 women between the ages of 26 and 34, but men made up nearly 60 percent of the total drop.
Blip or fundamental backlash?
Inside Facebook’s Chris Morrison wrote on InsideFacebook.com that the drop in membership could be a "blip," but added that "in the years we’ve been tracking the demographic data, we’ve rarely seen a dip like this, so we would tend to favor the idea of a root cause."
July numbers may indicate whether this is a temporary slowdown for the U.S. or a leveling off of the penetration rate which currently stands at 40 percent, the highest of any nation in the world. But a final verdict may have to wait until the fall when the new school year starts, which is traditionally a time of high social networking usage.
Outside U.S. unaffected
Overall, Facebook maintained its healthy new user growth around the world. Indonesia led with 1,190,600 and India followed with 989,640. The Philippines and Mexico ranked third and fourth with over 800,000 new users apiece.
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