Is Facebook reaching its saturation point?

Hitwise goes all Statto with its Facebook stats
Hitwise goes all Statto with its Facebook stats

New statistics for Facebook show that its UK growth has slowed somewhat, compared to the massive drive in traffic the site has seen in the last five years.

While there won't exactly be panic in the social network's offices, the latest stats from Hitwise do show a levelling out with both page views and session time on the site.

The new figures show that the average session time on the site has levelled out to around 27.36 minutes in June/July, down from a seasonal peak of 30 minutes in December.

When it comes to page views, these are at 16.73 per cent (of total UK market share), which is a slight dip from what was seen in April.

Number crunching

In real terms, this levelling out still accounts for phenomenal traffic for the social network.

At 16.73 per cent the site gets more than double the page views in the UK than its nearest rival (Google with 8.22 per cent), which means that one in six page views from the UK is Facebook.

Google is still winning the numbers war when it comes to visits, with Facebook accounting for 7.14 per cent to Google's 9.59 per cent.

Hitwise, though, is questioning whether saturation point for the site could well be on the horizon, explaining: "Cleary Facebook is not losing traffic in the UK, but do these stats point to a stabilisation?

"The rapid period of the site's growth is now probably over in the UK, but does that mean Facebook has reached saturation point?"

With 26 million people in the UK already signed up to the site, Hitwise may well have a point that they could be running out of users.

Recent government statistics puts the amount of adults online as 37.4 million, so the site still has a few more people to entice in with the thrills of Farmville.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.