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Facebook tries to counter user decline claims

Facebook

Facebook is countering yesterday’s news that its overall growth is slowing and that its presence in North America is declining. The site Inside Facebook reported Facebook lost about 6 million members in the U.S. and 1.5 million members in Canada during the month of May.

“From time to time, we see stories about Facebook losing users in some regions,” Facebook said in a statement to VentureBeat. “Some of these reports use data extracted from our advertising tool, which provides broad estimates on the reach of Facebook ads and isn’t designed to be a source for tracking the overall growth of Facebook.”

Facebook also said it was “very pleased” with its overall growth and that more than “50 percent of active users log on to Facebook on any given day.”

Inside Facebook’s report said Facebook was still growing in members throughout the world, but not adding users in better-established markets like the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Russia. The gains reportedly are coming from countries like Mexico, Brazil, and the Phillipines, where Facebook was introduced later.

Because Inside Facebook’s estimates were based on an advertising tool, it’s certainly possible those estimates were off. But when it comes to a story like this, it’s hard to know how accurate either take is. Facebook’s statement on the matter is not a flat-out denial, but it certainly doesn’t want to admit losing members in well-established markets and will likely never share that sort of data with the public unless it has to.

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