As the third world adopts the U.S.'s biggest social networking site, Americans are leaving it by the millions.
What explains the stunted growth? Several things, the first of which is a growing concern about privacy amongst Facebook users. It was inevitable that a social site that turned its users into a commodity for advertisers would eventually be a turnoff for some, and that looks to be happening at Facebook en masse. Beyond that, competing sites like Twitter, which demand less engagement and information from users, are also siphoning away some former Facebook loyalists.
One also can't underestimate the value of cool when talking about Facebook's decline. In March a study showed that most Americans are now on Facebook, a development the site Facebook Insider says has consistently been a harbinger of slow times ahead: "By the time Facebook reaches around 50 percent of the total population in a given country (plus or minus, depending on internet access rates in that country), growth generally slows to a halt." What Facebook initially had going for it was exclusivity—it was for young Ivy Leaguers. Now that moms and grandmas are on it, it's lost some of that early cachet.
Then again, maybe it was just my essay.