The world’s largest social network, Facebook Inc. (FB) continues to lose users both from the overall accounts as well as from its smartphone app. More than a quarter of American Facebook users (26 percent) say they have deleted the app from their phones over the past year, according to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center. (See also, 1 in 10 US Facebook Users Deleted Account: Survey.)
Data Security is a Prime Concern
The bulk (44 percent) of those who removed the Facebook app from their smartphones are between the age of 18 to 29 years old, indicating that the company is finding it tough to retain younger users. Only 12 percent of the users aged 65 and above removed the app over the last year.
Amid rising concerns over personal data security and potential misuse of users’ data, around 42 percent of the Facebook users claim that they have taken a break from regularly checking the Facebook accounts for several weeks, and more 54 percent say that they have tweaked their privacy settings over the past year.
Amid growing signs of stalled user growth for the world’s largest social network, technology news portal ReCode reports that Facebook’s daily active user base in the U.S. and Canada has remained stagnant at around 185 million for four straight quarters.
The survey was conducted among more than 3,400 U.S.-based Facebook users during May and June and focuses solely on the Facebook App that is available for smartphones. The survey does not cover the use of other Facebook properties, namely Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger all of which remain popular in America and abroad. Instagram remains a top choice for the younger user base with robust growth estimates. (See also, Without Facebook, Instagram Valued at $100 Billion.)
Another survey conducted in June by Pew Research claimed that Facebook is particularly losing the teen audience to other platforms, including rival Snap Inc.’s (SNAP) Snapchat and Instagram because of specific features that appeal more to the younger audience. (For more, see Aging Facebook Losing Teens: Pew Research Survey.)
The Menlo Park, California-based company is facing severe backlash from both common public and lawmakers for allowing misuse of data through its platform. The most notable cases include the Cambridge Analytica scandal and a recent FBI report indicating the use of the platform by Russian operatives to spread fake news to influence the 2016 presidential election and other political campaigns.
Though Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday about the company’s efforts to cut down the menace on its platform, the security chief Alex Stamos recently cautioned that “the U.S. is no better equipped to fight foreign interference in the 2018 midterm elections than it was in 2016,” reports CNBC.