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facebook-icondrop in users

Has Facebook reached its peak? In May more than 6 million users quit the site in the US with usage also dropping in the UK, Canada, Norway and Russia.

It is the first time usage of the world’s most popular social networking site has dropped month on month in the past year.

Even though Facebook continues to grow worldwide, the rate of growth has also slowed.  

According to tracking website Inside Facebook there are 687 million members worldwide.

Facebook users in the US fell from 155.2 million at the start of May to 149.4 million at the end of the month – a drop of 3.7 per cent.

Canada Facebook membership slipped by 1.62 million while more than 100,000 users in the UK, Russia and Norway turned away from the site in each  of those countries.

Magnus Hogland, CEO of UK media law firm Law360.com says interest in Facebook is waning.

“From my experience, I get the sense that being on Facebook is not cool anymore,” Mr Hogland told The Guardian.

“The early adopters and trend setters are moving away. These are also the type of people brand advertisers want to reach – if they are leaving, it doesn't look good for Facebook.”

Australians continue to embrace Facebook with more than 10 million active users with people using the site at least once a month.

Around 68 per cent of Australians visited the site daily and 86 per cent logged in weekly.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg has mentioned an ambition of reaching a billion users worldwide and this growth will rely on penetration into developing countries.

Brazil, Indonesia, the Phillipines, Mexico and Argentina are rushing to the site and accounted for more than a million new memberships in May between them.

Facebook is also eyeing off China as its next market despite other internet giants like Google and eBay experiencing difficulty in the region.

There are now more than 500 million internet users in China alone and, if Facebook’s launch is successful there, could take the site beyond Zuckerberg’s goal of 1 billion members.