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BizReport : Trends & Ideas : May 11, 2010

Facebook deserters - boredom or privacy concerns?

Has Facebook poked the privacy of its users one too many times, or are users simply becoming bored with the social network? Either way, more and more people are looking for information on how to delete their Facebook accounts.

by Helen Leggatt

I admit it. I am an avid Facebook user. I use it to stay in touch with my family halfway around the world and my close friends. However, of late, I find myself sucked onto the social network far too often while accepting friend requests from people I barely remember and suffering bouts of anxiety after cleaning out said expanding friend list.

It seems I'm not alone in my desire for desertion. Not a week after my finger hovered over the "delete" button suddenly the Internet is heaving with stories of others seeking to do the same.

Even Google Suggest, the drop-down box that offers suggested search queries based on upticks in popularity of a phrase now guesses that if you start typing "How do I..." you'd like to know how to delete yourself from Facebook.

As SearchEngineLand's Danny Sullivan illustrates in a recent blog post, it's not as if people have only just started searching for how to delete their Facebook page - his graphic shows a steady rise since the start of 2009 - probably trending in line with the growing userbase. However, there was a definite uptick in April.

This timing leads some to conclude that Facebook's recent social plug-in launch may have been the straw to break the privacy camel's back for many users. For some big online names, such as Matt Cutts and Peter Rojas, this has certainly been the case.

However, not all Facebook users are as clued up as the experts on their online privacy, in fact, as Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter Group told peHUB, "the vast majority of consumers don't know and don't care [about privacy issues] until it impacts their personal lives."

So, perhaps it's not purely privacy that is driving Facebook users to consider deleting their accounts - perhaps many are simply bored with the social network. What then for Facebook, and social marketing?

Oh, and if you are considering deleting yourself from Facebook, be prepared for a bit of emotional blackmail that might well keep you from clicking.

Tags: Facebook, Google, Privacy, Social media, Social network

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  • Unknown

    Facebook is useless all it does is make you say stupid things and act abnormally...... We all realise this eventually.



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