Have you deleted your Facebook account in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal? Tech.pinions (opens in new tab), a technology and media research firm, claims that almost 10% of people in the US have done just that.
The firm surveyed 1,000 Americans across age and gender demographics. While not all respondents were Facebook users, a whopping 17% of respondents reported having removed the Facebook app from their smartphones, and 9% had deleted their accounts altogether.
As of January 2018, statistics aggregator Statista (opens in new tab) reports that Facebook serves roughly 214 million users in the US. So, to put those numbers into better perspective, that means around 36.38 million people in the US have deleted the Facebook phone app, while 19.26 million have deleted their accounts altogether.
This might not even be the worst of it
We'd be pretty concerned about losing nearly 20 million sets of eyeballs on ads, but according to Tech.pinions, those numbers might not even have Facebook worried.
In its survey, 39% of respondents said they’re now more careful about not only what they post, but what they ‘Like’ and react to on brand pages and within friends’ posts. Meanwhile, 35% claim to be using the social network less than they used to following the data breach.
These numbers should be of real concern to Facebook’s bottom line. As Tech.pinions says, the fact that users that are engaging less with content and brands means they simply aren’t as valuable to companies paying for traffic or buying ads.
Perhaps to stem this supposed tide, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has publicly floated the idea of introducing a paid version of Facebook with zero ads and stronger privacy protections. However, he may want to reconsider, as a massive 59% of survey respondents said that they wouldn't be interested.
The problem with all of this is that, whether you like it or not, it’s growing more and more clear across the internet landscape that, if you’re not paying for the product, then at some level you yourself are the product. So, unless attitudes change toward paying directly for social media and other connected services, there will always be a third party for those services to please (ie advertisers).
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