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When Facebook revealed its facial-recognition technology, people freaked out. And perhaps rightly so; it's probably the creepiest new feature Facebook has launched in a while. But has it finally started to push people over the edge? Recent studies show a loss in American Facebook users in the last couple of months, and apparently around five-million people have jumped ship in the last month alone. The site is still growing, but the majority of new faces on the book are from countries where Facebook is a more recent discovery.
The losses mostly came in the U.S., as well as other long-time Facebook-friendly countries like Canada, the U.K., Norway, and Russia. Growth continues healthily in Mexico, Brazil, and Indonesia. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg has announced a lofty goal of one-billion users worldwide, and Facebook has brushed off questions regarding the reports, stating "We are very pleased with our growth."
Since they didn't offer any numbers to counter suspicions, experts are assuming the loss figures are correct, and pondering why the site seems to be stalling. It could be simply seasonal changes, some say. Supposedly recent grads surf the internet less as they transition into jobs — although in this economy, that explanation seems unlikely.
Or maybe Facebook has finally become too invasive for people. Has all the buzz around privacy issues online made people start to think twice about sharing? Every time Facebook makes even the smallest redesign, some people claim they'll quit the site for good, and yet until now, it didn't seem like anyone actually did.
Has Facebook run its course, soon to join ranks with Myspace and Friendster? It seems impossible, but we've said that about new technologies before. Maybe they should think about implementing that "Dislike" button after all.