Facebook Losing Users: Growth Slowed in U.S. and Canada

Facebook has lost many of its users, especially in the U.S. and Canada.  The pace in which they have added users per month has been on average, 20 million users.

facebook in newsFor the first time ever, they have suffered two months in a row of losses–13.9 million in April, to 11.8 million in May.  In the past, low months would be followed by months with higher numbers.  Such has not been the case this time around.  The numbers have been researched by a group called Inside Facebook–a researching and marketing company.  This group posts Facebook’s traffic numbers despite the Palto Alto company’s unwillingness to comment or post on traffic numbers themselves.

Eric Eldon, a spokesman for Inside Facebook stated, “While there have been a few months that have registered lower growth numbers, they have not been back to back”.  The odd trend that Facebook is in the midst of has however been temporarily offset by the burgeoning amount of new users in countries still relatively new to Facebook.

The U.S. however has been particularly interesting in the numbers Facebook has yet to comment on.  “falling from 155.2 million at the start of May to 149.4 million at the end of it,” Eldon said. “This is the first time the country has lost users in the past year”.  Losing 6 million users is a big deal.

I find it interesting that the leaking numbers somewhat coincide with security issues other firms have been having, as well as the new polarizing “facial recognition” capabilities Facebook just added to their social networking platform.

It may be just coincidence, but it could be a fair assessment that users are somewhat taken aback by the psuedo-privacy Facebook continues to push.  They claim to offer considerable privacy protections for users, but then front technologies that actually enable people’s privacy to be taken away.

Used in the wrong hands, facial recognition could be a damning tool for the passionate political activists out there.  Say such an activist was with friends at a protest that went south.  Now, not only can the protester be in trouble, but the software could find who was in pictures with the protester.  They would be able to find the Facebook friends and take considerable action.  The F.B.I makes it common knowledge that they impersonate real people on Facebook to catch criminals.  Who knows if that gets abused in ten, twenty years.

This is just my opinion, but such technologies leave a bad taste in my mouth.  Maybe it left a bad taste in the mouth of 6 million U.S. users as well.




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