5 possible reasons U.S. users are ditching Facebook

Why are users ditching Facebook? Here are some possible reasons.

Have we finally grown tired of Facebook? According to Inside Facebook, more than five per cent of U.S. users abandoned Facebook in May -- that's about six million people who have stopped "liking" the world's largest social network. Six million people jumping ship sounds like a lot, but when you consider that Facebook is on track to hit 700 million users any day now, it's not such a big deal.

But it raises the question: why are U.S. users ditching Facebook? Here's a look at 5 possible explanations for May 2011's Great Facebook Exodus.

#1 - Nobody's Leaving -- The Data is Wrong

If you ask Facebook, this is one of those instances in which there's smoke, but no fire. A Facebook rep says that reports such as Inside Facebook's "use data extracted from our advertising tool, which provides broad estimates on the reach of Facebook ads and isn't designed to be a source for tracking the overall growth of Facebook."

So Inside Facebook ran another series of tests using third-party measurement services like comScore, Compete, Quantcast and Google Ad Planner, and that data is totally schizophrenic. Some show fast gains, others show slow gains, others report losses, and oddly, Sony's ranking system shows Pop Tart Cat. (Just kidding.)

#2 - The Privacy Issues Keep Getting Worse

Where to start with Facebook's ridiculous string of privacy problems? How about the latest: the opt-out facial recognition software that identifies and tags Facebook users in photos without permission or forewarning. Facebook apologized -- but not for the software. No, it apologized for the software's rocky launch. Now privacy advocates are asking the U.S. Federal Government to stop Facebook from using this facial recognition technology.

To put this in perspective, Google's Eric Schmidt says that facial recognition software is too creepy. When Google thinks something too creepy, you know it's way, way too creepy.

Until Facebook users realize that Facebook is a free service that you can cancel at any time and that it therefore owes you nothing in terms of privacy and security, this won't be the last time the site will make headlines for crossing the creepy line.

#3 - Facebook has Become too Much of a Business

Facebook used to be about fun, and stuff. It's not that fun anymore.

Lately, when the headlines aren't railing against Facebook's privacy fouls, the media has been reporting on the company's financial concerns and its reported $100 billion valuation. Bor-ing!

Perhaps the Facebook's evolution from startup to unavoidable monstrosity has driven Millennials -- a generation typically in favor of entrepreneurialism -- into "distrust mode," thereby signaling a widespread call to ditch Rich Uncle Pennybags' once-fun site and move onto other social networking services...which bring us to...

#4 - Facebook is too General; We Want Specified Social Networks

The generalized nature of Facebook is great for those who dig ... stuff. But our social Web culture is turning to apps, and services such as Instagram for photos, Foodspotting for foodies, GetGlue for multimedia, Soundtracking for music, etc., are catering to those who want a niche. Sure, these apps are compatible with Facebook news feeds for added sharing capabilities, but they're also building their own, specified, social networks.

#5 - We're Returning to MySpace

I'm sorry -- that's comically absurd, but I had to say it.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternetFacebookInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brennon Slattery

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?