Facebook is rapidy approaching 700 million users worldwide, despite reports that the social network is beginning to lose members in the US and the UK.

Taking a look at how social networks are used around the world, Vincenzo Consenza created an informative series of images collating statistics on the popularity of services including Facebook, Orkut, Hyves and Zing on different continents over the past couple of years and overlaying it on a world map.

Consenza’s research, which utilises Google Trends and Alexa, shows that Facebook is most popular in Europe with around 205 million members, with only dutch-based social network Hyves posing a challenge to Facebook’s dominance on the continent.

wmsn animated 1024 Facebooks Dominance Worldwide...Mapped.

Facebook use is huge in North and South America but has been unable to crack Brazil where Google’s Orkut holds top position, remaining the most popular in Western Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Myspace, which is still in operation, is not displayed on the map as it is not the dominant social network in any country.

Will Facebook continue to make inroads into Russia and China? With governments restricting use of social networks from outside the country, Facebook might not increase its growth unless it can reach an agreement with the authorities regulating Internet use in the country.