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Facebook on the top, starting to go down

Staff writer |
Facebook is losing millions of users every month in the biggest markets while alternative social networks attract users looking for fresh social networking experience.

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New studies suggest that Facebook's expansion in the United States, United Kingdom and other major European countries has reached the top and that decline is steady.

In the last month Facebook has lost 6 million US visitors, and that'a fall of 4 percent, according to analysis firm SocialBakers. In the United Kingdom, 1.4 million fewer users checked in last month, a fall of 4.5%. The bad news for the company is that those declines are sustained. In the last six months, Facebook has lost nearly 9 million monthly visitors in the U.S. and 2 million in the UK.

But those two biggest markets are not alone: users are also switching off in Canada, Spain, France, Germany and Japan. Facebook has two problems it should tackle: the first is that in the U.S. and UK the market is saturated and there's simply no more users wanting to check in. We should add to that a boredom of checking Facebook timeline every day because statuses are of the same nature every day.

The second problem are new social networks, similar to Facebook and Twitter but still enough fresh and different for users to try them out. Weibo English, for example, is a social network that attract more and more users from the West.

Other social networks such as Instagram, the photo sharing site that won 30 million users in a year and a half before Facebook bought it, have seen surges in popularity with younger users. Path, the mobile phone-based social network, is gaining one million users a week, it has 9 million of users. Just over the one weekend 500,000 Venezuelans downloaded the app.

Facebook is growing fast in South America and India, and while there is still some room to grow it seems that Facebook has really reached the top.


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