Americans’ relationship with Facebook is getting increasingly complicated, with a significant portion of the population joining the #DeleteFacebook movement.
More than a quarter (26%) of U.S. Facebook users say they have deleted the app from their cellphone over the past year, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
Over half of Facebook users (54%) say they have adjusted their privacy settings in the past 12 months, and around four-in-ten (42%) say they have taken a break from checking the platform for a period of several weeks or more.
To sum it up, around three-quarters (74%) of Facebook users say they have taken at least one of these three actions to limit their Facebook usage in the past year.
“Significant shares of Facebook users have taken steps in the past year to reframe their relationship with the social media platform,” says Andrew Perrin, Research Analyst at Pew Research Center.
This is happening as a sort of backlash rises against social media.
“This is happening as a sort of backlash rises against social media: The idea that it’s a bad use of time, that the companies don’t take user privacy seriously enough (notably Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica debacle) and that Facebook, in particular, is too powerful,” says Rani Molla, Data Editor at Recode.
More concerning for Facebook, it’s the younger users who are more prone to deleting the app, compared to older users.
44% of younger users (ages 18 to 29) say they have deleted the Facebook app from their phone in the past year, nearly four times the share of users ages 65 and older (12%) who have done so.
Similarly, older users are much less likely to say they have adjusted their Facebook privacy settings in the past 12 months. Only a third of Facebook users 65 and older have done this, compared with 64% of younger users.
Facebook: We know there is more work to do and we’re committed to doing more of it.
A Facebook spokesperson, uncharacteristically, also responded when asked to comment on Pew’s research, “We know there is more work to do and we’re committed to doing more of it.”
Facebook is facing challenges on other fronts too.
It’s currently having one of its worst quarters since going public. Facebook shares have taken a massive hit recently, and some analysts are betting on more trouble ahead.
A Facebook researcher tied to the Cambridge Analytica scandal also quit the company. Facebook declined to explain when or why the researcher, Joseph Chancellor, left.
Before leaving Facebook, Chancellor worked as a quantitative researcher on its User Experience Research team, and was under investigation because of his links to Cambridge Analytica.
“He’s no longer employed by Facebook and we wish him well,” a Facebook spokesman told Bloomberg, without disclosing the results of its probe.
The Pew Research Center survey was conducted among 4,594 U.S. adults earlier this year. View full topline results and methodology here (PDF).