By Anna Viggeborn
A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center suggests that almost half of young Facebook users in the United States have deleted the app or taken an extended break from the platform in the past year.
Is this the end for Facebook? And how are the other Facebook-owned platforms doing?
The Facebook Study
Facebook has had a rough year, to say the least, and it has changed the way users feel about the company. This seems to be especially true among the younger generation, many of whom have grown up using Facebook as a part of their everyday life.
Between May and June this year, the Pew Research Center surveyed 3,400 Facebook users in the United States and they got some shocking results.
According to the study, 54 percent of users between the age of 18 and 29 have made changes to their privacy settings in the past 12 months. A whopping 42 percent of the same demographic claim that they have taken an extended break from the platform for at least a few weeks at a time.
However, the biggest revelation was that 26 percent of the users had deleted the Facebook app in the past 12 months.
These numbers prove that Facebook obviously has a trust issue among their users and that they are struggling to uphold their reputation as a legitimate service.
Not The End Of Facebook
Even though these numbers are concerning it is still not devastating for the social media giant for a few reasons. First and foremost, Facebook has gone through several major scandals in the past year so the fact that users are wary is not strange at all. Also, Facebook is working hard to clear their reputation and make up for what has happened. For example, Facebook is making an effort to ban untrustworthy users and has updated the guidelines for how you can target ads and who you can target them for.
The second reason why this isn’t the end of the world for Facebook has to do with other ventures the company is involved in.
Facebook Subsidiaries Are Thriving
The above-mentioned study only focused on Facebook users and not the people using any of Facebook’s other social media platforms because then the numbers would have been very different.
In fact, both Instagram and Whatsapp as well as their own messaging app Messenger, are still extremely popular both in the United States and abroad. Instagram is growing at record speeds and recently implemented new safety features that will most likely see users’ trust in the platform increase tremendously.
The Usage Of Facebook Overseas Is Different
Furthermore, as mentioned above, Pew’s study was performed in the United States and did not take international usage into account which is important to note.
While Facebook’s growth has stalled within the United States, the situation has been the opposite in the rest of the world. At the moment, Facebook is rapidly growing in Europe, Asia, and Africa and these regions have great potential of carrying Facebook forward in the future.
Also, Facebook is working hard to find and fix their flaws, and so far they have proven to be quite willing to cooperate with both the American Senate and the European Union in an attempt to secure the platform and regain trust.
There is no doubt that all the scandals that have unfolded in the past 12 months have hurt Facebook’s reputation a lot, but the platform still remains the industry leader. In fact, users that are older than 29 are still using Facebook heavily, and the number of users is steadily growing. Moreover, usage overseas is continuously increasing.
If that wasn’t enough, Facebook’s subsidiaries Instagram and Whatsapp are extremely popular, and both platforms are growing rapidly, securing Facebook’s role as the king of social media.