While Facebook is still experiencing user growth, having reached 687 million monthly active users at the start of this month, this growth rate has been lower than normal for the second consecutive month, according to Inside Facebook.
In April and May of this year Facebook gained a further 13.9 million and 11.8 million new users respectively, well below the 20 million per month average gain over the past 12 months. This situation is unusual as it’s the first time that growth has slowed for two consecutive months.
In early-adopting countries like the US and Canada, the number of Facebook users has actually fallen for the first time in the past year. The number of US Facebook users fell by 6 million between May and June 2011, while the number of Canadian users fell by 1.52 million during a similar period. Norway, Russia and the United Kingdom also experienced losses of more than 100,000 Facebook users.
Facebook now experiences the largest growth rates in countries that were initially slow to adopt the social network. Developing countries like Mexico, Brazil and India have gained the most Facebook users between May and June 2011.
If Facebook is to reach the coveted one billion user milestone, it will likely have to make significant gains in China first.