Facebook suffers from social networking slowdown

Bubble 2.0 about to burst?

Bubble 2.0 about to burst?

Facebook has suffered its first monthly drop in UK users for 17 months, falling by five per cent to 8.4 million unique users between December 2007 and January 2008.

Despite this, the social networking phenomenon has grown by 712 per cent in the UK over the past 12 months according to the latest stats from web intelligence group Nielsen Online.

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In contrast MySpace has seen a nine per cent fall in the number of unique visitors year on year with around five million users.

And Bebo is now hot on the heels of MySpace for second spot in the UK, enjoying a 53 per cent increase in users to 4.1 million.

One of the earliest social networks, Friends Reunited, lost 47 per cent of its unique users in the past 12 months with 1.6 million people now using the site.

Alex Burmaster, European internet analyst at Nielsen Online, said this fall in Facebook users is not a sign that social networking is declining but more that the huge growth rates could not be sustained.

The other social networking sites to make the top 10 were BBC Communities, Google Groups, MSN Groups, Piczo, Windows Live Space and Yahoo! groups.