Facebook: 100k Brits bored with site deactivate accounts amid privacy fears
Last updated at 9:50 AM on 14th June 2011
- 'Facebook fatigue' blamed for drop in users
- Social network with 600m users has been rocked by privacy scares
Tired of social networking? Logging off Facebook? You’re probably not the only one.
Fearing for their privacy or perhaps just bored with using the site, 100,000 Britons are said to have deactivated their accounts last month.
And Facebook fatigue seems to be catching. Six million logged off for good in the U.S. too, figures show.
Logging off for good: Computer users concerned for their privacy are choosing to shut down the Facebook accounts. (Pictured posed by model)
Worldwide, the rate of growth has slowed for a second month in a row – and as it aims to reach its goal of one billion active users, Facebook is having to rely on developing countries to boost its numbers.
The figures suggest that there could be a ‘natural limit’ for Facebook’s saturation.
There is even speculation on blogs
that, as is feared for its failing rival MySpace, the website could one
day ‘sputter into oblivion’.
Earlier this year, executives announced that the number of Facebook accounts held in the UK had reached 30million, accounting for about half the population.
Digital PR Vincenzo Cosenza compiles a world map of social networks twice a year. It shows the dominant website in each region using a colour code. Between June 2009 and June 2011 Facebook overtook Hi5 in Mexico and Orkut in India as the largest network
The milestone was an increase of four million from last July and represented the highest saturation of any country in Europe.
But times change – and last month more than 100,000 in the UK stopped using the website, figures show.
Is FACEBOOK WORTH $100BN?
The world's largest social network is likely to go public at the beginning of 2012, according to reports.
Facebook shares could be offered based on a valuation of
more than $100 billion, according to CNBC who quoted people 'familiar with the matter.'
Such a valuation would place it behind of Apple, Microsoft and Google but ahead of Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and Canon.
The company may have been prompted by a clause in the 1934 Securities and Exchange Act, which requires private
companies to release quarterly financial data when they have 500 or more
CNBC said Facebook could hit the 500-person investor mark sometime this year.
In the U.S, user numbers dropped from 155.2million to 149.4 million throughout May. In Canada there was also a fall, of about 1.5million users, while in Russia and Norway numbers also fell by more than 100,000 users.
It’s not all bad news for the site.
Worldwide, Facebook is still expanding and has around 600million users,
thanks to strong growth in countries such as Mexico and Brazil.
According to Eric Eldon, of the website Inside Facebook, which obtained the figures through analysis of the company’s advertising tools, there is a point at which the site can no longer grow, once it has established itself in a country.
‘By the time Facebook reaches around
50 per cent of the total population in a given country, growth generally
slows to a halt,’ he explained.
Internet psychologist Graham Jones predicted that Facebook users would suffer the same kind of ‘fatigue’ that comes whenever men and women get bored with trying anything that is new.
He said: ‘People get terribly excited about something new and after a while the novelty wears off.
‘Even if it is a new TV series everybody thinks it is fantastic at the beginning and things tail off.
‘In all aspects of our lives we are addicted to novelty, so Facebook should be the same.
‘The reason it is so compelling is that it is the first big website that allows two-way communication between people.
‘Humans are social beings and up until about five years ago we did not have a website for direct communication in this way.’
Worldwide reach: The map displays links between Facebook friends as lights on a deep blue background
Facebook has been beset by concerns over its privacy, the most recent of which was over its facial recognition technology which commentators have described as sinister.
The site has come a long way since it
was started in 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, in his bedroom at Harvard
It has become the largest social networking site in the world and made him the world’s 52nd richest man with a personal fortune of £8.2billion – at just 27.
In 2008 it had approximately 100million users. It has grown to 600million in just three years.
Privacy fears: Features like 'tag suggestions', where facial recognition algorithms automatically scan photos to suggest who is in them, have spooked users
A spokesman for Facebook said: ‘From time to time, we see stories about Facebook losing users in some regions.
‘Some of these reports use data extracted from our advertising tool, which provides broad estimates on the reach of Facebook ads and isn’t designed to be a source for tracking the overall growth of Facebook.
‘We are very pleased with our growth and with the way people are engaged with Facebook.
‘More than 50 per cent of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day.’
Share this article:
Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below, or debate this issue live on our message boards.
The comments below have not been moderated.
Regarding the face recognition technology. Why are people so scared? I think it is a natural way forward for computers to recognize the natural world and calculate suggestions. Consider airplanes, your car navigation system, weather systems, etc. Why is it such a huge surprise that computers can recognize people's faces? It's common knowledge that computer's recognize people's thumbprints etc. Why are we so scared that they can recognize our faces, which are in a lot of ways just as unique as our thumbprints? This is NOT 'new' technology people. Come on, grow UP! : )
- Vic , Texas, USA, 14/6/2011 13:08
Those of you still on, get a life. - derf, pendergrass, ga, usa, 14/6/2011 12:47 Got one, thanks - quite a busy one, to which Facebook is a useful addition. Oh - get a shift key.
- Chris, Lichfield, 14/6/2011 13:07
I have noticed the change aswell, especially over the past 6 months or so my friends don't post updates no where near as often as they used to, Mark Zuckerberg won't be worried though he's already made his fortune and will move onto something else. I also think facebook will inevitably end up like myspace within 1-2 years with very few people using it at all.
- Paul, Manchester, 14/6/2011 13:02
Are people at last starting to wake up to what a fad this is?
- Nick Rougier, Kensignton, London, 14/6/2011 12:56
facebook is boring and causes no end of problems! Also the admin keep messing with the settings of things and not informing any users ... Just leave well alone !! You have to keep checking your privacy settings as they are changed without you realising. Dont join any apps on there either they are the worse for it !
- charlotte, leeds, 14/6/2011 12:47
I resisted getting on Facebook until only about a month ago. With all the hub-ub, and real friends suggesting it again and again, I signed up. I have to tell you, its pretty lame. I could care less about pictures of Amy's brats ad nauseum, Peggy's daily opinion on God or John's mud truck accessories. I'm off. I lasted a month. Those of you still on, get a life.
- derf, pendergrass, ga, usa, 14/6/2011 12:47
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.