Mark Zuckerberg's history of public apologies for Facebook not taking user privacy seriously enough dates back to 2007. All the while, the company continued its torrid growth based not only on the network effects but also on continued innovation to make the platform more useful. All of which makes interesting a Pew Research Center study released last week.
According to the report, 54% of U.S. adult Facebook users say they have adjusted their privacy settings in the past 12 months. 42% have taken a break from checking Facebook for several weeks or more, and 26% delete the app from their phones. All told, some 74% of Facebook users say they have taken at least one of these three actions in the past year. (see chart)
The Cambridge Analytica scandal likely is a significant factor driving these results. However, I suspect that there are other significant factors in play. I have conducted my own thoroughly unscientific polling of friends and acquaintances. My findings suggest that political polarization is an important factor here as well, with Facebook too often devolving into opposing camps waging war via posts and comments. Those that don't want to participate may find it easier to turn their online attention elsewhere. Instagram, a Facebook-owned platform, is a likely beneficiary.
How has your use of Facebook changed in the past three to six months? Let us know in the comments.