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More Users Are Shunning Facebook 411

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the we-hates-it dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Blake Snow writes that evidence suggests that a small but increasing number of users — at least in North America, where Facebook use is especially saturated — may be shunning the site with Facebook losing nearly 6 million users, falling from 155.2 million at the start of May to 149.4 million at the end of the month, the first time the US has lost users in the past year. Some users complain they're spending so much time on Facebook that they're short-changing the rest of their lives. 'I figured out that I wouldn't look back as an old man and wish I had spent more time on Facebook,' says David Cole, an IT manager from Boston, adding that he believes the popular social-networking site is a useful tool, but not a replacement for what he calls 'realbook' experiences. Kip Krieger, a college student from Virginia, says Facebook has become predictable. 'It's really gotten to a point where I know pretty much what my friends are going to post. They usually just write the same thing over and over again, and I am getting sick of that.' Still there are a lot more satisfied customers of Facebook than disgruntled ones, so are Facebook shunners a tiny minority or part of a growing trend? 'Having that connection with others is a very powerful thing,' says Toby Bushman who felt so much pressure that she decided to rejoin Facebook, and is glad she did. 'It makes me feel like I'm a part of something bigger and more grand than just my life as a stay-at-home mother.'"
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More Users Are Shunning Facebook

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  • by cgeys (2240696) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:05AM (#36512164)
    Seriously, what are they expecting? That their friends are there to entertain them 24/7? I don't expect MSN Messenger to entertain me all the time either, why would I expect Facebook to do so. It's a communication tool. I've found it really useful, especially since I'm living in different sides of the world every half a year and having friends, wife and a family in both. But I don't expect it to stop hunger or give world peace.
    • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:21AM (#36512414)
      I hope your wives and families don't read /.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SMoynihan (1647997)

      Exactly. One doesn't blame the mail service because one has sent out invites for spammers to send spam letters.

      Facebook enables you to keep in touch with those you want to keep in touch with. If you are finding that those you friend send more trash than value, there is a simple answer:

      Don’t friend them.

      Seriously, if you don't want to spend time listening to drivel - you would avoid the drivelers - not cut off your ears (well, I hope not).

      Caveat emptor: If you end up with no friends, it is likely a st

      • by jdray (645332) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:25AM (#36513468) Homepage Journal

        It's probably a sign that Facebook is becoming mature, hitting their initial peak and losing a few users who didn't really understand it or need it in the first place. They'll probably lose quite a few users in the near future, settling back to a core set of users, though still over 100 million. If they provide useful functionality for people, they'll grow at a more reasonable rate and continue to mature. If they panic in the face of losing users and pull some BS maneuver and start blasting out spam, they'll die on the vine.

        Are there any studies around the rise and fall of AOL and MySpace? Some enterprising college student should put that together.

      • by Omestes (471991) <{omestes} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:30AM (#36513568) Homepage Journal

        Don’t friend them.

        You've never ran into the "friend of a friend guilt" trip, I see.

        I have many friends on Facebook from back when I was a punk kid. A good portion of them grew up into decent adults, but a proportion of them are developmentally atrophied at 16-21. I have no problem being friends with the ones that grew up, but try to avoid the other group like the plague. Sadly many of the latter group have finally discovered computers and smart phones.

        Now every time I go to a party or generally hang out with my old friends I get to spend an hour of people chastising me for not being friends with so-and-so (who happens to be in their mid-30s hanging out with 18 year old kids in back alleys doing drugs). I've had five people all gang up on me, trying to convince me of the merits of "friending" people who'd I rather never think of again. It gets worse when these people show up places, since then I have to listen to them guilt trip me as well.

        If often comes to the point where I might as well "friend" them, since it saves me hassle and stress in the long run. I suppose it doesn't matter, since I only actually check Facebook once a month or so (if even) when I have absolutely nothing better to do. Its not like my feed is full of any important information or communications to begin with, just minor burbles and desperate pleas for attention.

        • by causality (777677)

          Don’t friend them.

          You've never ran into the "friend of a friend guilt" trip, I see.

          I have many friends on Facebook from back when I was a punk kid. A good portion of them grew up into decent adults, but a proportion of them are developmentally atrophied at 16-21. I have no problem being friends with the ones that grew up, but try to avoid the other group like the plague. Sadly many of the latter group have finally discovered computers and smart phones.

          Now every time I go to a party or generally hang out with my old friends I get to spend an hour of people chastising me for not being friends with so-and-so (who happens to be in their mid-30s hanging out with 18 year old kids in back alleys doing drugs). I've had five people all gang up on me, trying to convince me of the merits of "friending" people who'd I rather never think of again. It gets worse when these people show up places, since then I have to listen to them guilt trip me as well.

          If often comes to the point where I might as well "friend" them, since it saves me hassle and stress in the long run. I suppose it doesn't matter, since I only actually check Facebook once a month or so (if even) when I have absolutely nothing better to do. Its not like my feed is full of any important information or communications to begin with, just minor burbles and desperate pleas for attention.

          If you're a pushover, the wrong kind of people will exploit that for their own selfish reasons. If you need to have the approval of people, the wrong kind of people will exploit that for their own selfish purposes.

          This is older than history. Facebook hasn't changed that. Facebook hasn't brought it about.

          • by Omestes (471991) <{omestes} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @12:04PM (#36514274) Homepage Journal

            I never blamed Facebook. It just makes it a bit harder to do what the previous poster said. Sometimes, if I had my druthers, I wouldn't even be on Facebook. Sadly I have a couple friends where pretty much the only way to communicate with them is with it. Its sad and amusing that there is a decent segment of the youngish (30 something) population who has completely failed to grasp email. I know many people who don't even have a personal email account, much less check it, and this MyFaceSpaceBook has become the de facto standard for quick communications (that and SMS).

            Social networks exist because of the exploitation of social leverage. I, personally, miss Livejournal, since it allowed me to type pretty much open letters to my friends. It allowed content. But as social networking evolves the emphasis is much less on content and on mere superficial ass sniffing. There isn't much of interest that can be said in a mere 250 (or 140) characters.

      • by TheLink (130905)

        Donâ(TM)t friend them.

        Uh. That sounds like a subpar nontech approach, assuming they are actually your friends but somehow annoying on facebook, you can filter them or their apps out while keeping them as friends. Facebook does give you many options of controlling what you see and what other people see.

        FWIW Facebook also provide you an option to download a whole lot of your information in a zip file. Which is handy sometimes but probably more as reminder that the FBI, CIA etc are likely to be able to get Facebook to make a simi

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:21AM (#36512418) Homepage Journal

      For someone like you Facebook would be a boon, but you're the exception. Me, I really have no use for it. I have an "unlimited" cell phone plan (don't pay for minutes, $50 per month flat fee for calls, long distance, roaming, text, internet, and email) and can call, text, or email anybody I know for free.

      I think it's a fad, like Hula hoops, pet rocks, mood rings, and... um, what's the name of that social networking site everybody was on a few years ago? I've forgotten. Chances are in five years everybody will have forgotten Facebook as well.

      • by cgeys (2240696)
        There's a difference between phone and Facebook. I won't always want to call people to ask how they're doing and I won't call someone if I see something fun or interesting on the internet. I also won't do that via email, because sending useless stuff personally like that isn't just nice, neither for you or the receiver. Facebook on the other hand lets you do that without getting too personal or intimate. It's especially good for people you see sometimes but really don't have that much to talk with. I also w
        • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:53AM (#36512918)
          It always strikes me that Facebook is like some overblown school reunion. People whom you would never ordinarily consider contacting are drawn into the endless feedback loop of a social networking site that uses emotional blackmail to keep you there. If you want to quit, you have to run the gauntlet of Facebook's messages claiming that you will "lose" all your "friends" if you go, and what will you do then...

          Not for me. I was born into a world that had no internet, and although it is now part of my headspace (FWIW), I am happy to keep real friends at the end of an email, phone call or a knock on the door.
        • by causality (777677) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:11AM (#36513230)

          You actually captured it right there, the crux of the issue, the true appeal of Facebook:

          Facebook on the other hand lets you do that without getting too personal or intimate.

          Those things so many people are afraid of? Not because they are legitimately feared, but because most of them come from broken homes and a divorce culture and have some deep-seated trust issues and insecurities? Programming, in other words. You see this as a feature?

          We could collectively face our fears and learn how to interact with people on personal and intimate levels. What we'd discover is that dealing with others as actual human beings is far more satisfying, far less distant and hollow. Doing this requires being vulnerable and having good judgment, two things that scare so many.

          Or we can just make all human interaction as indirect and superficial as possible so nothing ever improves. What we'd discover is that we are so busy and have so much to keep up with yet actual acceptance and real understanding is so hard to find. Does that sound familiar? Doing this requires being shallow and mindlessly leaping on the current bandwagon because that's what everybody else is doing, nice and impersonal, focus on the crowd.

          You get to decide this on the individual level. So it's truly your call. Though, if people become any more alienated from one another, we may as well start addressing them with numbers instead of names. Who else can see this as a problem?

      • by Bengie (1121981)

        Facebook is very useful for stuff like organizing a Family event.. Aunts, Uncles, Grand Parents, etc.

        I don't use FB, but my wife does.

    • Agreed. It is as much of a tool or a time suck as you want it to be. Some of my friends are on every game on there, and zone out all the time. I use it for contacts and events only. They spend 30 hours a week, I spend 1. Works for me, and I guess for them.
      • by rwa2 (4391) * on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:47AM (#36512808) Homepage Journal

        Word... I got sucked in during the early days when there wasn't really much to do other than play Mafia Wars (I blame my wife, it was one of the few games she's ever gotten into). Was primarily interested in figuring out the game mechanic, as well as marveling at their psychological hacking techniques (pure genius... if only someone would apply this type of random reward & leveling system to education, we could work wonders, or churn out our own suicide bombers, or at least do something amazing). Anyway, after playing through some of our cultural heritage "campaigns" (Moscow and Bangkok), got stuck on some glitch and took that opportunity to quit cold turkey and never looked back.

        But then a lot of my childhood friends started popping up, and now that a lot of these "too cool for facebook" people are finally leaving, it's actually becoming kind of nice again.

        • by SemperUbi (673908)
          "if only someone would apply this type of random reward & leveling system to education, we could work wonders"

          Khan Academy [khanacademy.org] does a pretty good job with this. And while cognitive fun [cognitivefun.net] is more about cognitive improvement than education, it's pretty addictive.
    • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:25AM (#36512492)

      Well I don't think TFA is even true, this story has popped up elsewhere over the last few days, Slashdot is a bit late getting to it. Facebook themselves and another 3rd party have both said these numbers are bunk, and I think they're probably right.

      The same study suggests 1.5million Canadians also quit in a single month, that's 5% of Canada's entire population quitting Facebook in May. Now, to me that seems pretty odd, why so many, why May? For this to be realistic there'd almost certainly have to have been some good reason why so many chose that specific month to all leave together but I'm not aware of any event that would've caused such a mass exodus.

      I think Facebook might well be in slight decline in early adopting countries, but to the degree, with the numbers listed in TFA? Seems pretty unlikely, the numbers are just far too large for so many people to coincidentally all just pick one month to leave.

      The original articles on it suggested it was about privacy, but perhaps more realistically people haven't actually quit because of privacy, but have in fact boosted their privacy settings causing problems for whatever arbitrary method was used to measure these user counts.

      I couldn't really care what happens to Facebook personally, but I'm sick of seeing this story because frankly, it seems to almost certainly be completely and utterly full of shit- a classic attention whoring attempt using sensationalist tosh.

      • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:38AM (#36512698) Homepage

        I know a LOT of people that have quit facebook... quit as in changed to only looking at it for a few minutes once a week.

        Why? because FB has made it an annoying piece of crap. you cant block all stupid game requests by default. now they allow fricking apps to post to your wall, and they stop showing you people that you have not commented on any of their stuff in the past 30 days.

        Facebook utterly sucks compared to a year ago.. It's fricking turning into MySpace.

        • by ifrag (984323)

          quit as in changed to only looking at it for a few minutes once a week.

          Heh, if that's the criteria used then I've never actually been "on" facebook. I'm guessing that's what the article means, since it's supposedly impossible to really delete yourself from it completely.

      • by obarthelemy (160321) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:47AM (#36512814)

        There's also the question of what Facebook counts as a user. I've got a bare page there, just so that friends of friends can track me. Never posted anything, barely go to visit friends' pages once a month when I'm bored, and when I get the facebook "please come baaaack" email.

        I find my life not *that* interesting that I want to make a "book" out of it. And the interesting parts, are, mostly, too private to entrust to facebook. The same seems to be true about my friends' lives, except they do post, and ave no qualms about private stuff, mostly.

      • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:49AM (#36512848)
        What I don't know is how these numbers are measured. These numbers don't come from FB but third parties and rely on things like "unique visitors" and ad traffic. Depending on the methodology, the measurements can be subject to external factors. Anything that relies on ads is subject to ad blocking. Counting on visitors might be skewed if they are counting MAC addresses, IP addresses etc. For example the drop in May in Canada can be attributed to university students going home after the school year and everyone using the family computer instead of their own.
      • I agree with you, unless this comes from statistics Canada, how would we know the validity of the claim. who is doing the research and what means are they using to come up with this, are they going to every household and asking them "have you stopped using facebook this month?"

        I think it is more someone like M$ that is paying off some guy or company to write up these silly stories, and then trying to buy in on them at a lesser stock price...or trying to bring down their stock value...
        pathetic if you ask me.

      • I personally quit Facebook last month - put one last message up for about an hour "If you're important, you have my email address.... Ciao" - then I canceled the account.

        Now, I'm on Diaspora and am starting to convert others to it. Do I use Diaspora nearly as much? Nope - and I like it that way.

    • by Deep Esophagus (686515) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:29AM (#36512558)

      The key is to know what Facebook is good for, and what it is not. As a gaming platform, it's awful - and yet people gladly surrender not only their time but their marketable data and often real money to play idiotic, plotless dreck like Mafia Wars and Farmville.

      On the other hand, it's great for quickly disseminating news, vacation photos, etc. that I'd like to share with friends and family (and NO others) all at once, and conversely, find out when friends and family have important news --- someone has graduated, someone is in the hospital, someone got abducted by aliens and is now Elvis' love slave on Europa...

      I don't even mind using it as a discussion forum occasionally, although it's ill-suited for that (no way to search past discussions, no threaded replies, etc.) Sometimes a friend will feel strongly enough about some item in the news that he or she will post a rant, and it's interesting to see the various responses from the friends of that friend. I've also been able to crowdsource when I needed ideas quickly to solve a problem.

      On the other other hand, hanging on Facebook 24/7 and announcing every time you fart or move from one room to another or what you just ate... give it a rest, guys. Fortunately not many of my friends are that wrapped up in FB or themselves that they need to do so, just a couple of colleagues from work.

      And as far as security, you just have to be aware of the flaws and don't do anything that could make you the victim of identity theft (or get you fired). Don't post your home address or phone number; in that spot I tell people to message me privately if they need that and do not have it. Don't announce when you are going to leave the house empty for two weeks at a time. Don't brag about doing something illegal, or against company policy, or whatever. And for the love of all that is binary, don't give stupid apps permission to access your private data, or answer intrusive questions about yourself just because some stupid app wants you to.

      • Indeed. I have family on both coasts of the US. We are all tech savvy enough to where the family could have set up our own website with managed user accounts, photo and movie sharing, blogs, tweet interfaces, etc. After the hardwork of figuring and setting things up, However no one would want to admin the thing on top of raising children and our everyday lives. FB was far easier for everyone.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      Try IRC. There's someone there to entertain you 24/7. And it's a lot harder for your indiscretions on IRC to get back to your family or employer. It's even gotten me laid. YMMV.

  • Facebook + $ (Score:4, Interesting)

    by geoffrobinson (109879) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:09AM (#36512230) Homepage

    Facebook is going to make money by exploiting and mining the data they have (and ads). Losing some customers is to be expected. The interesting thing is that they reached a saturation point already.

    But it doesn't seem like these folks are going to go to another social networking site.

    • by jra (5600)

      Why is it "interesting" that they achieved saturation with *3/4 of the adult humans in the US*?

      That's a pretty damned impressive number...

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:10AM (#36512242)

    Sure, having a "life" is all well and good for my friends. But have they paused for even a moment and thought about what will become of my farm?!?!?

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      "But have they paused for even a moment and thought about what will become of my farm?!?!?"

      a wasteland of lost productivity?

      Oh wait....

    • by c0nner (123107)

      There will be huge foreclosures on farms across the interwebs as the economy falls and owners walk away from the facebook. The short sales will be huge and the united bank of Zynga will implode from all the lost money. We will see the CEO go to congress to get a bailout because how were they to know that people would want privacy and wouldn't be willing to pay for fake goods indefinitely. Think of the children who will never know the joy of sitting around waiting for the chance to harvest their carrots.

  • I left Facebook... (Score:5, Informative)

    by gQuigs (913879) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:14AM (#36512300) Homepage

    And I have not looked back... For me, I got tired of changing my privacy options all the time to keep what I wanted private, private. They kept changing them so that I would have to reconfigure things, for the same level of privacy.

    My blog on how to leave Facebook and keep some of the interesting information: bryanquigley.com/uncategorized/leaving-facebook [bryanquigley.com]

    • I don't change my setting that much. But I also have no information on facebook. No pictures at all, no checkins aloud, no constant updates. Do what they want with security, I got nothing there. Best security, is not to trust someone else's.
      • by vlm (69642)

        But I also have no information on facebook. No pictures at all, no checkins aloud, no constant updates. Do what they want with security, I got nothing there.

        Then whats the point of joining or having an account? Once you block "everything" you have no reason to be there.

        I went thru the same thing.
        1) Sick of privacy violations? OK from now on, I'll never post anything I wouldn't put on a lawn sign. Boring!
        2) Sick of useless game/survey updates? OK I'll make a "game" out of spending time every night blocking each new app from my feed. Boring!
        3) Sick of the single and/or unemployed trolling daily for the obvious? OK I'll block them. Boring!
        4) Sick of the pol

    • by jkmartin (816458)
      You never really leave Facebook. I thought I had deleted my account but signed back in a month later and it was still there. All my friends still present. Even the pictures and comments I had deleted individually were still there.
    • Why not just not put that info up there in the first place? The only info I put on my facebook profile (or anywhere online, really) is info that I don't mind being public. I'd prefer that some of it stay private (email address for instance), but nothing in my profile is truly sensitive. Ergo, I don't even really have to care about the privacy dance while still being able to maintain my connections and event invitations and the like. Win-win.
  • users vs time (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SemperUbi (673908) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:14AM (#36512306)
    I bet the loss in users is nothing compared to the proportion of users who keep their accounts but don't use the site, or view without ever posting. The site is an unpleasant minefield of tiny little areas you never want to click on. If users are declining when so many people have more than one account, I bet they're tanking more than they'll ever want to admit.
    • by ArhcAngel (247594)
      Exactly! I was wondering how they knew so many people had stopped using their accounts altogether but this number is just those who actively closed their account. I suspect the number of dormant accounts is triple or more.
  • by RogueWarrior65 (678876) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:14AM (#36512308)

    IMHO, the people who are leaving Facebook have realized that it's not just another blog where they can post semi-anonymous inflammatory political rhetoric. Their Facebook friends will come down on their bogus opinions hard and people don't like to be told that they're full of sh*t by people they know. Just one aspect, IMHO. For me, living far away from most of my long-time friends, it's nice to be able to passively catch up with them. If you disagree with me, then you are a heartless bastard. ;-)

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Conversely they cannot express their true thoughts either for fear of their family and friends reactions.

    • by anyGould (1295481)

      For me, living far away from most of my long-time friends, it's nice to be able to passively catch up with them. If you disagree with me, then you are a heartless bastard. ;-)

      That's about where I am with Facebook - a low-maintenance way to keep up with old high-school/university friends that doesn't require exceptional effort on either person's part. (Essentially the digital form of bumping into them on the street and having a two-minute "what's up!" chat).

      The pyramid-scheme games ("get one more friend to sign up and we'll let you play our game more!") and the companies begging for "likes" everywhere.. I happily live without most of that.

    • by Kozz (7764)

      IMHO, the people who are leaving Facebook have realized that it's not just another blog where they can post semi-anonymous inflammatory political rhetoric. Their Facebook friends will come down on their bogus opinions hard and people don't like to be told that they're full of sh*t by people they know. Just one aspect, IMHO. For me, living far away from most of my long-time friends, it's nice to be able to passively catch up with them. If you disagree with me, then you are a heartless bastard. ;-)

      [You like this.]

  • Anecdotal evidence (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Inda (580031) <slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com> on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:16AM (#36512342) Journal
    My young daughter and her friends have recently left Facebook. The reason? Because everyone's parents now use Facebook.

    Those skilled in the internet have known Facebook will not last forever. The media, having hyped the living shite out of it for the past few years, are about to jump on the "Facebook is a sinking ship" hype, and I'm happy to help.

    Good riddance to bad websites.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      My young daughter and her friends have recently left Facebook. The reason? Because everyone's parents now use Facebook.

      For what? Have they found the next big thing yet?

    • What's going to happen when your young daughter and her friends realize they want a way to keep in touch with their parents? That scenario plays out more often than not. At that point the parents will be firmly set in their ways on facebook.
  • I'd expand on that, but, uuuuurh. Wresting is on.
  • by The-Blue-Clown (1261404) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:17AM (#36512356)
    I have personally not dropped my facebook page but I visit a lot less often now. I've closed my blog page and I have returned to writing letters. I'm an IT admin so its a little difficult relearning to "write" with a pen so that others can read it. But a lot of my friends world-wide like the letter with the clipped photos and other things I send. There is something more personable in a letter that someone actually wrote and handled. i also got a custom wax stamp so i send them out with wax seals like they used to 100 years ago.
  • Go live real life (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWX (665546) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:17AM (#36512360)

    Turn off the TV, shut down the computer, and go interact with other people, or go do something with your hands. You'd be amazed how many calories you burn by puttering around in the garage or in the yard, or by meeting friends out in public. You should especially do this kind of stuff in the years between 18 and getting married. Don't worry about updating your status, use that smartphone to assist being out and about, not as a replacement for it.

    Life is short, don't squander it.

  • So, people get on Facebook. The use it for awhile. They decide they don't like it. The get off of it. Quelle surprise.

  • by odin84gk (1162545) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:18AM (#36512378)

    I'm not going to say this is the start of the end, but it certainly shows that people are no longer "excited" about the social network world.

    People are noticing real-world consequences to the privacy issues, reducing the amount of interesting stuff that people will post. I've run into employer issues, I've had relatives with relationship issues, and I've read enough about legal issues to be wary about what I post. Add in the number of businesses embracing Facebook, and you start to see why "social networks" have reached a saturation point.

    It still has its uses. It is more personal than email (great for keeping your family updated on life events). It is easier to control reoccurring events, such as birthday parties and pick-up games in the park. It is also easier to ignore people on Facebook than through email. I will continue to use it about as regularly as I use my email, but that doesn't mean I like it.

  • I dumped Facebook a few months back, because I got tired of having to constantly tweak the privacy settings, and I was drowning in Zynga spam from other users.

  • by Fractal Dice (696349) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:31AM (#36512594) Journal
    Facebook is following the same trajectory of all social networking sites from the dawn of the Internet ... people pile in, then eventually take a harder look at the product they are becoming and start to pull away, starting a long bleeding decline. What's astonishing is that once again, a company appeared which honestly seemed to think they were different, that they weren't subject to the same pattern of free-growth and decay-on-monitization.
    • by luke923 (778953) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:29AM (#36513566) Journal

      The funny thing about this is that it's all predictable. I like to call this the Uncle Johnny Factor. Why you ask? Well, I have an uncle who's name happens to be Johnny who happens to hop on to tech trends at the very tail end. He set up a Geocities account in 2003, moved to MySpace in 2008, and got onto Facebook just recently. So, for all intents and purposes, he serves for me as a canary in the coal mine -- whenever he signs up for something, you know it's no longer cool.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:32AM (#36512608) Homepage

    As far as I am concerned, this has more to do with how Facebook (and others) are used against people in the work place, at school, by insurance companies, by lawyers and even during pre-employment screenings. As it has been legally supported by court rulings that it's okay to use that information for those purposes (despite the fact that it hinders certain constitutional amendments, the separation of personal and professional life and more), it comes down to the users having two choices: participate or not participate.

    I saw this LONG long ago and I decided not to participate as the best option. I think others are beginning to see it as well.

  • If you aren't rising, you are falling. The public loves a good riches to rags story just as much as they like a rags to riches. So total active users dropped 6 million out of 700 million total. Big deal. In terms of a subscriber base it doesn't really matter. There are still tons of accounts ripe for data mining. Maybe those accounts were false accounts. Maybe they were expired accounts from people who got their old Facebook account hacked and created a brand new one and the old one finally lapsed. Maybe some people died.

    Maybe FB is plateauing. It happens to every huge company, they have stop growing sometime. Maybe they drop 1% and their gains/losses level off. But thanks to the 24 hr news cycle we have "oh noes! FB is ded because a few people went outside! Film at 11!"

  • divorce rate in the US: about 48% (depending on what stats you use)

    Number of lawyers that advise clients to delete their Facebook accounts the second they file for divorce: rising significantly.

    Or hey, maybe everyone is quitting and installing their own Diaspora node. Yup, that HAS to be it!

  • by wombatmobile (623057) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:35AM (#36512668)

    a college student from Virginia, says Facebook has become predictable. "It's really gotten to a point where I know pretty much what my friends are going to post. They usually just write the same thing over and over again...

    This is the other side of the bar that the Turing Test seeks to hurdle. Many real human beings, it turns out, after a while, become highly predictable.

    What would Turing say about this phenomenon?

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Ted -- 4:20 WOOOO! whos' meeting me for a roach?

      Steve -- cant man, I'm already baked....

      John -- Why d oyou guys only think of pot?

      Ted -- Dont force your morals on me!

      Steve -- I'm hungry...

      John -- Ted you are failing 3 classes, I'll help but you have to do it sober!

      Ted -- I'm free and you are jealous! come on man smoke a fatty with me!

      Steve -- Stupid Girlfriend left me! I need to get drunk!

      Yeah, college students are HIGHLY predictable... POT, Booze and Drama... Repeat until they either grow up or

  • i got banned from facebook without any explanation whatsoever. They must think they're pretty fucking special they can go around doing that to people. Well f-them - my life improved dramatically after that due to actually attending to my life as opposed to wasting time on their garbage so they actually did me a favour.

  • by scorp1us (235526) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:38AM (#36512700) Journal

    Having my parents join completely changed my use of FB, and to some extent real life. as now every possible drunken shenanigans picture might get a comment from my mom.

    Now I can have my overbearing over protective mom follow me and judge me all the time? Brilliant!

    Oh and don't dare not friend them, or unfriendly them. That just makes it worse.

    • by macbeth66 (204889)

      It was completely over for me when my 21 year old, tattoo loving kids ( twin girls ) friended me.

    • by vlm (69642)

      Having my parents join completely changed my use of FB, and to some extent real life. as now every possible drunken shenanigans picture might get a comment from my mom.

      Now I can have my overbearing over protective mom follow me and judge me all the time?

      It goes both ways. I, uh, friended your mom last night, if you know what I mean... and the kids are all like "TMI" "do not want" "must scrub image from mind". Mom seeing kids act in public like idiots is "sorta OK" since she did that in real life for about the first 5 to 35 years of kids life (depending how fast the kid grew up), but kids seeing mom act like idiot in public is "not OK".

  • From TFA: Facebook officials say their service is good for people. "Facebook can be like broccoli," [Facebook spokesman] Schnitt says. "Everyone can benefit from it but not everyone will want to."

    That's very unflattering. Is that really how Facebook is perceived by the people who work there?

  • To be come a part of something bigger and more grand than just my life at some job while someone else raises her kids?

  • I always figured a big portion of this was;

    a.) mafia wars/farmville/anyville dupe users who make fake users to play and support there game. Who fnially realize it's a life waster.
    b.) myspace users who moved over and created the standard alter ego then realized that's not really a facebook thing.

  • I got tired of hearing "well I Facebook'ed you" or "I posted it on Facebook." Like I need another thing to check and babysit.

    To me FB is nothing more than a crappy centralized email service with massive privacy concerns. And they call it social networking.
  • by Virtucon (127420) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:11AM (#36513228)

    Eventually all of these sites will lose users. Why? Because eventually people wake up and realize what a time waster it is. Let's face it, do people really think you're that interesting such that they will follow your exploits day in and day out? It's all a fad and that's what all the paparazzi shows are for on TV for people who are truly interesting, or well at least have "celebrity" status. For those who need their constant Kim Kardashian fix, they can get it daily and there will be media outlets that will supply that need. Can you ever get enough of Kim Kardashian? That's another topic.

    Yes, you can use the truly social aspects of these sites to reconnect with old friends and catch up. But in reality, after a while, you then realize suddenly that there was a reason you lost touch with those old friends. They're boring or they pissed you off a long time ago or they stole your significant other from you. Unfortunately for you, now you've "friended" them. This creates a new social paradox. How do you unfriend a friend and still be able to look them in the eye at that high school reunion? You can't but you can Tweet Dr. Phil and ask him what you should do.

    Facebook will eventually dwindle down to a smaller subset of what it is today. People will give up on the Farmvilles and will turn on to other things. Like "Angry Birds" which I predict will have a $200B IPO next year because we value the latest fad, not what's substantial.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      You don't understand what to use it for, so all of us who use it as as tool to improve are lives are the losers?

      You're an idiot.

      "do people really think you're that interesting such that they will follow your exploits day in and day out? "

      Typical fallacy from someone who doesn't understand social media.

      Facebook is as substantial as you want it to be, and I find having a list of people I know who are interested in specific things having a common place to be valuable.

  • Nothing in the statistics comes even close to say people are 'shunning' face book. All the statistics point to is that some people are using it less, or have stopped using it. I still see people I know join up, and no one I know that uses face book regularly has dropped it (anecdotal evidence .. not post it as an overall Facebook trend.)

    I check it at least twice a day (morning and evening), and sometimes at work if time permits. My wife only checks hers every day or so. Different people have different
  • by The O Rly Factor (1977536) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:59AM (#36514180)
    • Incessent narcissism 24 hours a day 7 days a week
    • Data protection that is circumvented by the highest bidder
    • Privacy policies that change with the wind
    • Employers using the data to keep track of their peyons^Hemployees between 5 PM and 9 AM
    • Siphoning of data for the creation of consumer profiles by any third party company with an internet connection
    • Non-stop astroturfing

    Nope. Nothing to do with any of those.

  • by nukeade (583009) <serpent11.hotmail@com> on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @12:19PM (#36514578) Homepage

    As someone who never had a MySpace or FaceBook account, I'll be the first to say that I should have.

    Back in college when MySpace was huge, I was constantly pestered by friends for my "MySpace", so that they could friend me. My canned response was, "I don't use MySpace, but if you want to find me you can just type my name into Google and my professional website is the first result." Well, guess who didn't get invited to the cool parties because the invite went out over MySpace? It still happens today with friends who use Facebook to send out invitations. You can tell people to use your e-mail, text you, or call you, but it's just not something that people think to do anymore. Facebook has become the preferred means of communication. I've even had a relationship fail out of the gate because the girl preferred Facebook flirting and I refused to indulge her. Just last week I got a call on my office phone from some friends from long ago who'd been looking for me. Since I wasn't on Facebook, it literally didn't occur to them that they could try entering my name in Google and find my contact information at the first result. Instead, by some circuitous route they managed to find a phone number I didn't even know--my office phone--since I just use my cell phone!

    So, here's the moral of the story. To the masses, Facebook is the new phone book, post office and phone. If your address and number is unlisted, you may as well be living in a shack in the vast wilderness, because unless they're exceptionally close to you then your friends aren't going to find you, aren't going to contact you, and might even find it easier not to be your friend at all.

    Somehow, I still decline to use Facebook. I'd rather go through my list of contacts on a rotating basis and send them a text to let them know that I still care. It is kind of funny to meet friends of my girlfriend and have them say, "Oh, you're that guy that's not on Facebook!"

    So, maybe not being on Facebook makes me more memorable after all.

  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @01:19PM (#36515666)

    During the workday I need to work on projects, answer e-mails and such. I'll have downtime for social networking here and there but not much. When I get home, I need to make dinner, get the kids ready for bed and then do various things (household chores, blog posts, watch TV shows I like watching, spend time with my wife, etc). I can do social networking here as well, but my time is limited. I already have a blog and am on Twitter. Going on Facebook would only spread me too thin. If I want to post something for the world to see that's longer than 140 characters, I'll blog about it. If I want to let people know about it privately, I'll e-mail them. There are only maybe a handful of people from my past that I wonder "what are they doing now." The others? Don't really care. As it stands, I'm constantly trying to rise above my past. I don't need people from my past constantly popping into my present life and judging my current life with comments or "likes".

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