06/13/2011 11:26 EDT | Updated 08/13/2011 05:12 EDT

Facebook Canada Numbers Slide, According To Inside Facebook


THE CANADIAN PRESS -- TORONTO - The head of Facebook Canada believes there's still plenty of room for the social networking giant to grow north of the border, but some new numbers suggest that may not be the case.

A report from Inside Facebook, which tracks usage and trends on Facebook, suggests the website is nearing another big user milestone, and is just 13 million users shy of hitting 700 million monthly active users.

But the report also says it's growth outside of North America that's fuelling the latest surge of Facebook use.

The number of Canadians using Facebook has recently dropped by about 1.52 million to 16.6 million, according to Inside Facebook.

The number of active Canadian Facebook users has fluctuated in the 16- to 18-million range over the past year, the report notes.

Canada's numbers reflect a global trend suggesting that the number of Facebook users in a country seems to plateau when 50 per cent of the population is signed up.

The latest numbers have 49.27 per cent of the Canadian population using Facebook, according to another trend tracker, Socialbakers.

In an interview earlier this year, Jordan Banks, managing director at Facebook Canada, said he didn't believe Facebook use in Canada was slowing.

"I don't think we're plateauing at all, when you take a look at the engagement metrics -- that's everything from how many times they come in a given month, to how much time they spent, pages (viewed) -- it continues to grow at a very rapid rate," Banks said.

"There's still room to grow on the absolute number of Canadians that use Facebook, as well as when they use it, and using it more often in a more engaged way. And we see that happening."