The latest U.S. Comscore statistics suggest that Facebook’s unstoppable climb is, well, stopping. The numbers point to a 9.3 percent decline in unique visitors and 3.8 percent decline in page views compared with August.
But before we bury the social network that swallowed Canada, a bit of a reality check is needed.
First, September contains one day less than August, which means that even if traffic stayed steady, a three percentage point decline.
Second, Facebook traffic also declined in September of 2006, when compared with August. That’s because the ratings system has a bias towards home computers. When September comes, students log on more often from public terminals at school.
And third, these numbers only apply to U.S. users. Facebook points out that its Global page views rose to 57 million in September, up from 54 million in August. Year over year, it ended September with 44 million active monthly users, up from 9 million a year earlier.
But the numbers do serve as a reminder that it’s still too early to know if Facebook will achieve the level of market dominance in the United States that it has in Canada. Will the Facebook craze in Canada and England bring the United States along, or will U.S. consolidate around Myspace or opt for some new social networking site. And if so, will the dominant U.S. social networking site eventually drag the rest of us in?