'Quit Facebook Day' Faces Small Chance of Success, Survey Suggests
A survey conducted by interactive research and technology firm Vision
Critical, which looked at recent privacy issues with Facebook and consumer
reactions to the "Quit Facebook Day on May 31st" campaign, found despite
Facebook users' increasing unease about their privacy on the popular social
network and recent dire warnings in the technology media, users are in fact not
flocking to delete their Facebook accounts.
The survey results, based on 699 Americans aged 18 and older with an active Facebook account, said 57 percent of American Facebook users are aware of recent news stories about Facebook but only 11 percent have heard of the "Quit Facebook Day on May 31st" campaign. Of those aware of the campaign, 22 percent expect to quit on Monday. This equates to only 2 percent of total U.S. Facebook account holders deleting their account on "Quit Facebook Day," the company said.
"While the findings suggest that a mass exodus from Facebook will not occur, users are clearly becoming more cautious about how they use the site: 81 percent of respondents say they are now using Facebook more carefully and 76% are not sharing as much personal information as they used to," the report reads. Fifty-five percent said that they found Facebook privacy settings confusing.
Facebook users were surveyed on May 25, 2010, using Vision Critical's Springboard America online research panel. The company noted final results are weighted by age, gender and region to represent the total universe of American adults with a Facebook account. Among other results, the survey found although users are now being more careful, 61 percent did think that Facebook has done a good job of responding to privacy concerns.
"These findings suggest that while Facebook users are becoming increasingly concerned about their privacy and the type of information they are sharing with others, the apocalyptic predictions of mass churn from Facebook are highly overrated and likely fueled by a small but vocal group of highly engaged Facebook consumers," said Matt Kleinschmit, senior vice president of media for Vision Critical.
Kleinschmit said too many users are just too vested in the service to delete their account and dismantle a social network they have cultivated over time. "This reinforces an interesting paradox of social networks that we have examined extensively in past waves of research, namely that despite the fact that consumers use this medium for facilitating communication with some of their most trusted friends and family, they view social networks themselves as inherently untrustworthy, particularly relative to more traditional media channels," he said.