It seems that the Facebook boom is now starting to see a decline in their growth-rate, with recent posted figures showing that the growth rate has dropped over the last 2 months.
Speculation has suggested that the user base would have hit 1 billion people by the end of the year (2011). However with current figures it is a lot more likely that the user base will only just hit the plus side of 800 million. With current standings the user following is just shy of 700 million, however the active user statistics has gone un-published.
Many would suggest this growth is only rivalled by alternative social media platform; Twitter. Since 2006 Twitter has seen many ups and downs in growth and has really seen an upsurge in 2011. Website Monitoring has actually produced an info-graphic to depict their growth over the last few years - Infographic
One of the contributing factors for the decline in growth of Facebook has been attributed to the rise of alternative social networking and blogging platforms. Many people are using these as a developed method of publishing their writing, keeping in contact with friends and distributing news. Recent trends and statistics release could indicate that the whole social networking and blogging may be in general decline. Some example stats are -
Rate It All - Traffic down 9% over last month
Tweako - Traffic up 9% over last month
Faves - Traffic down 28% over last month
Diigo - Traffic down 1% over last month
MyLinkVault - Traffic down 8% over last month
A1 Webmarks - Traffic down 2% over last month
Google Bookmarks - No stats available
Utilising a mixture of these sites many people are able to advance their online writing and networking to many other states and even nationwide. People are also exploiting these methods for business and other advertising matters. This has recently wained in popularity and is a lot more evident within Facebook advertising, and this obtrusive advertising has deterred many users from frequent or returning visits.