Facebook and you

June 22, 2011, 10:33 PM GMT+0

One in five British Facebook users polled in our online survey is currently considering deactivating their account, our results show. Of those contemplating logging out for the last time, more than half are doing so because they’re bored with the website’s service, while over a third have revealed that they are concerned by intrusive privacy settings.

Even so, the site maintains popularity among those surveyed, with nearly a third of users logging on several times a day, with a similar amount visiting Facebook at least once daily.

  • 20% of the 1,605 British Facebook users we asked are considering deactivating their account
  • While nearly three quarters (74%) are happy to retain their account with the social networking website
  • 53% of those we polled who are considering deactivating their account say they are doing so because they are bored with its service
  • 38% say they find the site’s privacy settings intrusive
  • 11% of those considering deactivation said that they preferred to use an alternative social network
  • 11% of those we spoke to also said that they were considering leaving the site because they currently spend too much time on it
  • 27% say they would like to spend less time on the website than they do and just 3% want to spend more time on it
  • 30% of the Facebook users we asked say that in general, they log on to the website several times a day, while the same amount visits the site at least once a day
  • 38% say they still log onto the site with the same regularity as they always have, and 25% say that they now log on more than they did when they first joined up
  • However, almost half of the Facebook users we questioned (45%) say they spend less than an hour a week on Facebook and 37% say they log on less regularly than when they first registered

US-based social networking phenomenon Facebook regularly faces criticism regarding privacy settings, and earlier this month, the website was forced to apologise for the way it introduced a new system that recognises users’ faces. The social website admitted it should have done more to inform members about the launch of the new feature, which is intended to speed up the process of assigning a name to a photograph, known as ‘tagging’. Some accused the site of intruding on users’ privacy through its apparently new ability to identify people using nothing more than a photograph.

Facebook currently has 687 million users worldwide, and aims to attract one billion users in the next few years. However, according to Inside Facebook, which tracks the site’s popularity, overall growth has been lower than normal for April and May of this year. The United States apparently lost nearly 6 million users and the number of users in the United Kingdom has reportedly decreased by more than 100,000 people.

The rise of micro-blogging website Twitter may also have played a part in these losses. According to our poll, three in ten Facebook users we spoke to also have a Twitter account, and more than one in ten (11%) are considering deactivating their Facebook account because they prefer an alternative social network.