Social media giant Facebook is losing steam with younger crowds, according to a recent survey from Pew Research. The study cites growing privacy concerns and related scandals as causing a key age demographic to reconsider its relationship with the service.
Pew’s Facebook Research
Pew Research conducted a survey that found more than half of Facebook’s users have taken some action regarding their privacy and the popular platform in the last year. The actions are probably due to in large measure to the widely reported story of Facebook and its involvement with Cambridge Analytica.
CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg was summoned to the the US Congress, asked to answer for the incidents. The scandal, combined with Zuckerberg’s testimony, launched a “Quit Facebook” movement. While some people did abandon Facebook, there was no real statistic about how many people followed through and under which conditions.
According to Pew’s survey, at least 42 percent of users have taken a break from checking the site for several weeks or more. This could indicate a service overload or just sheer rejection from users who preferred not to interact with the platform in any way. Whatever the reason, Facebook’s active user base has declined.
The Young and the Bold
Between younger demographics, Facebook is losing even more users. According to the data, 44% of the younger user base (between 18 and 29 years old) uninstalled the app from their phones completely, nearly four times the number of older users.
These numbers seem to confirm what another study found: Facebook is also losing users to other alternative platforms like Snapchat. However, fickle users are also leaving it, citing similar privacy concerns to that of Facebook.
The Pew study, however, ignored other services like Whatsapp, Instagram, and Messenger that are very popular. Still, even with bad press, congressional investigations, and slower adoption, Facebook is the number one social network of all the internet, and it will likely remain so for a while.
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