Even devoted Facebook users take extended breaks from the service and 20% are now longer using the social networking service according to just released findings from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
A lot to digest here and if nothing else more reasons on why relying heavily or only on social media to market/promote services and special events is not a good idea.
From the Pew Internet and American Life Project:
Two-thirds of online American adults (67%) are Facebook users, making Facebook the dominant social networking site in this country. And new findings from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project indicate there is considerable fluidity in the Facebook user population:
- 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.
We asked the 61% of Facebook users who have taken a break from using the site to tell us in their own words why they did so, and they mentioned a variety of reasons. The largest group (21%) said that their “Facebook vacation” was a result of being too busy with other demands or not having time to spend on the site. Others pointed toward a general lack of interest in the site itself (10% mentioned this in one way or another), an absence of compelling content (10%), excessive gossip or “drama” from their friends (9%), or concerns that they were spending too much time on the site and needed to take a break (8%).
When asked in the mid-December Omnibus survey to assess the amount of time they spend on Facebook and the general value of Facebook in their lives, a majority of users say the site is as important now as it was a year ago and about half say they use the site as much now as they did a year ago. However, notable numbers point to a decreasing value and a decline in usage over the past year.
- 59% of Facebook users say the social networking site is about as important to them as it was a year ago. And 53% of current users say the amount of time they are spending on Facebook has stayed about the same over the past year.
- 28% of Facebook users say the site has become less important to them than it was a year ago.
- And 34% of current users say the amount of time they are spending on Facebook has decreased over the past year.
- 12% of Facebook users say the social networking site has become more important to them than it was a year ago. And 13% of current users say the amount of time they are spending on Facebook has increased over the past year.
Women are more likely than men to report increased importance and greater time spent on the site. Some 16% of female users (and 7% of men) say that Facebook has become more important to them over the last year, and 16% of female users (and 9% of men) say that they spend more time on the site now than they did a year ago.
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.