Facebook user growth is slowing, say reports

Facebook’s growth is slowing as it approaches 700 million members – and it lost users in the United States and Canada in May 2011, according to the Inside Facebook website.

The social giant had 687 million members at the start of June, said Inside Facebook, which closely tracks developments and trends at the Palo Alto, California-based company.

Facebook itself does not regularly release membership figures except to announce milestones, such as when it crossed 500 million users in July of last year.

Inside Facebook said overall growth at the company “has been lower than normal for the second month straight, which is unusual.”

Facebook gained 11.8 million members in May and 13.9 million in April – down from the usual 20 million new users a month seen in previous months, it said.

“While there have been a few months that have registered lower growth numbers, they have not been back-to-back,” it said.

The United States lost nearly six million users in May, Inside Facebook said, falling from 155.2 million at the start of the month to 149.4 million at the end.

Canadian users fell 1.52 million to 16.6 million during the month and Britain, Norway and Russia all posted losses of more than 100,000.

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