in a year full of scandals and congressional inquiries, people appear to be changing how they use Facebook.
A new study from Pew Research Center shows that a huge portion of users has taken steps to reduce their usage and increase their privacy within the past year.
Interestingly, the findings show that users are specifically ditching the Facebook mobile app, with more than a quarter of US adults deleting the app on their phone. Even more have gone on a trial separation by taking a break from the platform entirely.
Among the findings of the study are several notable discoveries, including:
- 54% of users have adjusted their privacy settings
- 42% have taken a break from checking Facebook for several weeks or longer
- 26% have deleted the Facebook app from their phone
- 74% have done at least one of the above
These numbers on their own are very concerning for Facebook, but they become even more illuminating when broken down by age group. The survey shows that young Facebook users are widely stepping away from the platform or restricting their privacy.
Among users aged 18-29, 44% have deleted the app, compared to just 12% of users over the age of 64. Similar shifts were found among those who have changed their privacy settings.
Notably, there was no significant difference between the ages of those who have taken a break from Facebook.
The survey was conducted between May 29th and June 11th this year, after news broke about Facebook’s involvement in the collection and selling data on millions of users by Cambridge Analytica.
While these trends are certainly eye-raising, it remains unclear exactly how Facebook’s scandals have actually affected the company. The company’s latest quarterly report indicates the average daily users in North America has remained steady throughout the year.