Facebook sees its growth slowing down
SAN JOSE, CALIF. — Few experts were surprised when Facebook disclosed in its recent IPO filing that its user growth had slowed in the U.S. and Canada. But a deeper look at Facebook’s user numbers shows its growth is also slowing in Europe and Asia, untapped markets seen as vital to its fast-growing business, putting more pressure on the company to assure investors it can keep its revenue and profit expanding.
The Menlo Park, Calif., social networking giant added 45 million regular users — defined as members who accessed Facebook in the past 30 days — in the last quarter of 2011, its smallest increase since spring 2009, and now counts 845 million total users. But even in Asia, where a small share of the population of countries like India, South Korea and Japan are Facebook users, the social network’s fourth-quarter growth was its weakest in six quarters.