Facebook Audience Growth Slows to 5%, ComScore Reports

Facebook Inc. (FB)’s audience growth in the U.S., along with time spent on the site, is slowing as the world’s biggest social network saturates its home market, according to ComScore Inc. (SCOR)

The number of visitors rose 5 percent in April from a year earlier, down from a 24 percent surge in the same month of 2011, market researcher ComScore Inc. said in an e-mailed statement today. The average time spent on the site by each vistor climbed 16 percent, less than the 23 percent increase a year earlier.

Facebook, with more than 900 million members worldwide, gets about half of its revenue from the U.S. and Canada. Seven in 10 Americans using the Internet in April visited Facebook, ComScore said. Slowing growth is to be “expected given Facebook’s current size and market penetration,” said Andrew Lipsman, a vice president of industry analysis at ComScore, in an e-mailed statement.

Shares of Menlo Park, California-based Facebook fell 0.4 percent to $27.01 at the close in New York. The stock has declined 29 percent since it started trading at $38 on May 18.

Ashley Zandy, a Facebook spokeswoman, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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