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Is Facebook a Dying Trend?

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After Apple (AAPL) announced that it would heavily integrate Facebook (FB) into iOS 6, there's new evidence that Cupertino may have just hitched its wagon to a sinking ship.

A report from internet research firm ComScore (SCOR) shows that audience growth on Facebook (FB) appears to be slowing, particularly in the US. The rise in unique visitors in April 2012 was 5%, which translates to 158 million users. This number is down from a 24% jump in April 2011 and a staggering 89% surge in the same month of 2010.

"Declining growth rates are a natural part of the growth cycle," said Andrew Lipsman, vice president of industry analysis at ComScore. The findings are further put into perspective when compared to US Internet user data. Out of 221 million Internet users, 7 out of 10 in the month of April visited Facebook, and spent 16% more time on the site than they did in April 2011. The rise in the amount of time spent interacting is significant for the company, considering Americans are already on Facebook longer than any other site.

ComScore says that users spend more than six hours a month using the social network. That exceeds the over four hours a month they spend on all Google (GOOG) sites -- including YouTube -- and the 3.5 hours they spend on Yahoo (YHOO) sites.

(See also: Apple Enlists Facebook in Its War Against Google)
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