Social Media Matters

About this Blog: Kristin Burnham chronicles what matters (and what doesn't) in the world of social networking, Web 2.0 and consumer applications.

Social Media Matters

Dumping Facebook: Why More People Are Leaving

A report from Capstone Investments finds that the number Facebook users has declined over the last several months. Have your habits changed?

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In the last several months, I've had a handful of friends bid adieu to Facebook. I asked a few of them why they decided to leave:

"I originally left Facebook for Lent: I felt like it was a good thing to give up because it was something I used really often. I decided to stay off because I realized just how much of my time had been spent perusing Facebook, looking at people's photos and just generally it was a giant waste of my time. I also always secretly hated the feeling I had that I had to post that I was doing this or that cool thing; sometimes it felt like a silly contest to be the one who had the most fun, or took the best vacation, or things like that.

This friend has recently rejoined Facebook for a few reasons: to keep in touch with former classmates, and because she's moving and realizes that it's an easy way to connect with the new friends she'll make. But, she says, she now checks it only a few times a week, doesn't log in on the weekends and took the Facebook app off her phone.

Another friend left Facebook when she was applying for a new job:

"I didn’t want to risk a hiring manager coming across my profile, and it was also becoming a major time waster. I would go on to pass time on the train to work or while watching TV. Then, two hours later, I would realize I just wasted a good amount of time doing nothing. "

This friend says she doesn't miss much about Facebook, and she doesn't think she'll return. "Sure, it's nice to see updates from my actual friends and family, but some aspects of Facebook are just too much. I don't currently have a Twitter account, but I've been thinking about getting one. I think this could be a good alternative to get updates on friends," she says.

If you've noticed friends spending less time on Facebook or leaving the social network entirely, they are a sign of a larger trend. Yesterday, a Capstone Investment report found that the number of Facebook users has declined over the past six months. As a result, Facebook shares decreased 0.6 percent to $28.09.

Also from the report: U.S. users decreased 1.1 percent over the past six months while 14 of 23 countries in which Facebook has at least 50 percent market penetration saw little growth or even a decline over the past three months.

Facebook users, it appears, are slowly losing interest in the social network.

Are you spending less time on Facebook? Why? Cast your vote in our polls below and leave a comment.


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