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Facebook losing popularity in Europe

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While Facebook’s active user base continues growing on a global scale, the world’s largest social networking platform seems to be losing ground in the European market where monthly active users plunged by a massive 20 mln in the first half of the year, research has shown.

As the third-largest market by Facebook usage penetration, Europe has seen a steady increase in the number of Facebook fans over the past decade, according to data presented by TradingPlatforms.com.

The monthly number of active users has been continually growing since 2013, before reaching its peak in December last year.

According to the company’s earnings report, Facebook had a massive 427 mln monthly active users in Europe in Q4 2021, 8 mln more than in 2020 and 33 mln more than before the Covid-19.

But, after losing 20 mln users in the first six months of this year, Facebook’s European user base shrunk below 2020 levels. At the same time, the social media giant reported a growth in the number of users on a global scale, with their number rising from 2.91 bln to 2.93 bln in the same period.

Moreover, the report confirmed the number of MAUs globally has never taken a backward step since 2012.

The plunging number of users is not the only problem Facebook faces in the European market.

Regulators are close to stopping Meta, Facebook’s parent company, from sending EU data to the US, bringing a years-long privacy battle to a head. As the company has pointed out many times, this could result in Facebook and Instagram potentially pulling their apps from millions of people and thousands of businesses across the continent.

Growth outside Europe

The company’s latest earnings report showed that Facebook continues to focus on regions outside Europe and North America. The reward of this effort can be seen in the Asia Pacific region, where the company had significant gains in terms of a growing user base.

There are nearly 330 mln Facebook users in India alone, making it the leading country by audience size. To put this into context, if India’s Facebook audience were a country, it would be ranked fourth in terms of the largest population worldwide.

Besides India, several other markets have more than 100 mln Facebook users. The United States ranked as the second-largest market, with nearly 180 mln users, Indonesia and Brazil follow with 130 mln and 116 mln, respectively.

In comparison, the United Kingdom, Facebook’s largest European market, had around 35 mln users this year.