The story about Facebook losing users has been whipping around for a couple days, and everybody's all "Is this the end of Facebook?!?," and what happens next?

This isn't the end of Facebook. Not even close.

It's tempting to treat Facebook as just the current incarnation of sites we've seen before: Friendster, MySpace, Geocities, Compuserve (which apparently still has a website!). They were huge, then they were gone, now they're a joke. This will probably happen to Facebook sometime, but it won't be soon, and this recent dip in their numbers is not the beginning of the end.

Facebook isn't just another social website, it's a platform. For better or worse, Facebook is increasingly tied into almost every major website, and not just with "like" buttons, but with login and authentication, commenting, ads, etc. And Facebook is a development platform, too, delivering their 700 million users to app and game developers, who are making lots of money. In other words, Facebook is becoming part of the infrastructure of the web, and it's a significant economy. Things like that don't dry up and blow away in a few years. Too many have invested too much.

So what's with the dip in the numbers? Saturation. 150 million users in a country with about 300 million people (about 100 million of whom are under 14 or over 65) is, you know, almost everybody.