— It's not that the people of the United Kingdom no longer "Like" Facebook. "Meh" would be a more accurate feeling to describe those in the U.K. who don't have Facebook profiles. According to the latest numbers from website monitor Hitwise, the insanely popular Facebook may be reaching its saturation point in that country.
After several years of steep increases, Facebook use in the U.K. (population 62 million) may be leveling out at 26 million users. So what's the big deal? The world's largest social network recently reached 500 million users worldwide and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he's confident that the site he founded will reach 1 billion – not this year, but eventually. But don't count on that second 500 million coming from England.
Please note, Facebook is still the second most visited website in the U.K. (Google U.K. is No. 1). And while time spent on Facebook seems to decrease during back-to-school season, it still accounts for more than half of all visits to a social networking websites in the U.K., Hitwise reports. What's more, Facebook pummels other sites when it comes to individual page views: One out of every six Web pages clicked on in the U.K. is on Facebook. But it seems that most everybody who wants a Facebook account in England already has one.
At his recent presentation at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Zuckerberg told the audience that Facebook has its sights set on conquering new territories: Russia, Japan, China and Korea. "We are down to just four countries where we aren't the leading social network," he said. Zuckerberg also pointed out that while Russia has only 1 million members, user numbers are doubling every six months.
The recent launch of Facebook's mobile site, which is free of data charges, may also help the social network's popularity where the Internet or computers are largely unavailable and mobile phones are the main entrance point to the Internet.