US Led Facebook Growth for a Second Month in a Row in May 2010

[Editor’s Note: The data cited in this article is excerpted from Inside Facebook Gold, our membership service tracking Facebook’s business and growth around the world. Please see Inside Facebook Gold to learn more about our complete data and analysis offering.]

Growth of new Facebook monthly active users has roared back this spring for the United States, starting with a 4.4 million MAU gain in April and accelerating on to the 7.8 million gain in May that the latest edition of our Global Monitor report has just logged.

The ongoing growth is somewhat surprising, given the size of the US and Facebook’s existing penetration levels within it. The US is now the second large country to hold a penetration level of over 40 percent. The other is the United Kingdom, which as you can see from our chart below also grew significantly, adding 2.2 million MAU in May and rising to 44.4 percent penetration.

Several other countries that appeared high among the top 10 growers in May are also present. Indonesia, which in April had grown by 1.3 million MAU, has risen to number two with 2.4 million new MAU; Mexico, which previously held that position, fell slightly to 1.2 million new MAU. Both countries still have a relatively low penetration, so it’s reasonable to expect that they’ll stick around for a while. The same applies for Colombia, the Philippines and Malaysia, who all stay at least among the top 20 growers despite their smaller sizes.

Our neighbor to the north, Canada, also did well for a second month, adding 912,380 new MAU. And both Turkey and France, at opposite ends of Europe, have added significant numbers of new users this year despite starting it with relatively high penetrations.

We’ll be adding more information about all these countries and quite a few more throughout the month, as we cover growth within the various world regions. Here’s the chart:

Altogether the world’s countries tally about 465 million users for Facebook, according to our data, which is sourced from Facebook’s advertising tools. We typically assume that the ad data is a week or more behind, and rumors have been afloat for several weeks that Facebook may be preparing its 500 million user celebration. But even if the data is completely up to date, it won’t take long to break that half-billion mark; in May alone the social network added about 30 million users.

The full Facebook Global Monitor, June 2010 edition, is available through subscriptions to Inside Facebook Gold, which also offers independent analysis on developments, risks and opportunities in the Facebook business ecosystem.