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Americans Leaving Facebook?

facebookWe love to complain about Facebook; it’s practically a hobby for social media professionals and bloggers. The constant changes that Facebook has made in the last year to try to increase its profitability haven’t helped, of course; it’s harder than ever to use it as a marketing and promotional tool.

But that’s not all; it turns out that Americans are beginning to walk away from the social network, even as its popularity rises in other countries.

The annual Pew Internet and American Life Project was released about a month ago, and shared some rather startling information.

  •     61% of current Facebook users say that at one time or another in the past they have voluntarily taken a break from using Facebook for a period of several weeks or more.
  •     20% of the online adults who do not currently use Facebook say they once used the site but no longer do so.
  •     8% of online adults who do not currently use Facebook are interested in becoming Facebook users in the future.

Ouch.

Worse is the fact that younger people are using the site less frequently.

On the other hand, some 42% of Facebook users ages 18-29 and 34% of those ages 30-49 say that the time they spend on Facebook on a typical day has decreased over the last year — these are both significantly higher than the 23% of users ages  50 and older who report decreased Facebook usage over the same time period.

As we watch bloggers abandoning their Facebook profiles, and taking long breaks from the site, and more and more of us talking about wanting to leave, it makes you wonder about the viability of Facebook in the coming years.

What about you? Have you considered leaving Facebook? What is making you stay?

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