So is Facebook dying or isn't it? IPO investors need answers!

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By Richi Jennings (@richi) - June 15, 2011.

Facebook "lost" more than 5% of its active U.S. users last month. At least, that's according to a review of advertising statistics. Could be bad news for its rumored upcoming IPO? In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder where they went -- down the back of the couch, maybe?

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: How to Properly Iron Shirts, Pants, and Skirts...

Ian Paul reports:

Around 155.2 million Americans were using Facebook [before] ... dropping to 149.4 million by the end of the month. ... [It] contributed to an overall slump in Facebook's popularity in April and May, according to ... Inside Facebook ... [which] has been tracking Facebook for a little over a year.


While Facebook faces a ... slump in U.S. and Canadian activity, other countries are still rapidly getting onboard. ... Mexico, Brazil, and India all increased ... by about 2 million people in May. Indonesia and the Philippines each saw ... more than one million [more].  

  Eric Eldon runs the numbers:

Facebook is still growing towards 700 million users ... most of the new users ... come from countries that are ... later in adopting Facebook. ... [But] the United States lost nearly 6 million users ... Canada also fell significantly ... the United Kingdom, Norway and Russia all posted losses.


We’ll need to wait to see what the long-term trends really are before knowing if Facebook is continuing to grow in the US.  

  Tim Bradshaw rejects the tempting hyperbole:

Although these are headline-grabbing statistics, they are just a couple of months’ data – it isn’t yet a trend. ... Seasonal factors and “bugs in the Facebook advertising tool” can distort the figures. ... [But] it’s true to say that things have slowed down.


Facebook said in response ... “From time to time, we see stories about Facebook losing users in some regions. ... Our advertising tool ... isn’t designed to be a source for tracking [our] overall growth. ... We are very pleased with our growth.”  

As Razib Khan quips, we may have reached "Peak Facebook":

I’m pretty happy with that. I get a lot fewer requests for annoying apps. ... Now that the novelty has worn off people are using the “social graph” tools ... as background utilities.


I suspect that [Twitter is] cannibalizing some of the stuff that would otherwise be posted to Facebook.  

And Finally...
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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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