Among the 98 countries we track that have Facebook users, only three actually lost more users than they gained in September. They were China, Iceland and Cyprus. The reasons for the losses vary.
Most obviously, Facebook has been blocked in China since July — at that point it had around 1 million users. Sure, there are proxy servers and other ways of accessing the site, but very few people apparently have the ability and the desire to do so. There are a lot of extremely popular domestic sites with social networking features, after all, such as Tencent. Based on our latest Global Monitor report, Facebook’s monthly active users in the country dropped from 41,000 monthly active users as of the beginning of September to 14,000 as of the beginning of this month.
Iceland, with a population of around 300,000 people, has the highest Facebook penetration rate of any country in the world. Over the course of August, 49.5% of its population was on the site. In September, 260 fewer people logged on. Basically, that difference is a rounding error. So it appears Facebook has maxed out its growth in the country. It continues to have the highest penetration in the world, as 49.4% have stayed active on the site.
Cyprus has the most peculiar situation of the three countries. It had 252,000 users in August, but 223,000 users in September. It had previously grown by 149,000 users in the past year. Google News doesn’t reveal any sort of anti-Facebook backlash, and we haven’t heard anything, otherwise. Readers, let us know if you have any idea of what’s going on.
[Image via www.emu.edu.tr]