Are people actually going to #DeleteFacebook?
Friday, March 30, 2018
Last week, 50 million Facebook users found out that their data had been mined without their direct consent and provided to Cambridge Analytica, a political firm that was hired by President Donald Trump's campaign.
This week, Chris Wylie, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, said he believes more users were affected. Wylie told TechCrunch: "The 50 million number is what the media has felt safest to report — because of the documentation they can rely on — but my recollection is that it was substantially higher than that. So my own view is it was much more than 50M."
Armed with this information, users have had enough and vowed to #DeleteFacebook. The hashtag has reportedly been used more than 400,000 times (a tenfold increase from numbers reported last week).
Though, if you've downloaded all the information Facebook has on you (which is just as scary as you think it would be), you'd assume an ever-increasing number of people would be ditching Facebook.
Celebrities, including Cher and Will Ferrell, deleted their Facebook pages, as did companies such as Playboy and Tesla. But that's almost the entirety of the list.
In fact, only 8 percent of those recently surveyed by securities firm Raymond James said they would stop using Facebook as a result. Over 25 percent said they would use Facebook somewhat less as a result, and nearly 75 percent said they were concerned about the data incident.
To sum it up, users aren't happy with Facebook, but they also can't imagine living without it. After all, as of 2016, users spend 50 minutes a day on Facebook products, which include Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.
So, what's this mean for your business? What should you do, and what changes can you expect to see on your end?
Don't delete your business's Facebook page. If you do that, it'll be permanent, and you won't be able to reactivate your page in the future. At this time, it's clearly not a trend that's catching on. Even Elon Musk, who deleted the Tesla and SpaceX page, tweeted, "I don't use FB & never have, so don't think I'm some kind of martyr or my companies are taking a huge blow."
Do expect your ad targeting to change. Facebook is ending its Partner Categories, which allowed third-party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook. With this data from major providers like Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom and BlueKai, advertisers were able to use online and offline purchase data to target customers and customer interests.
Don't expect the same level of engagement from your users. Even if they aren't deleting their Facebook accounts altogether, users are feeling skeptical of Facebook. That means they may cut back on the time they spend on the network. Even before this scandal, a third-party research firm found the number of Americans currently using Facebook was down for the first time. In 2018, only 62 percent of people are using Facebook, down from 67 last year.
Do develop a Plan B. Continue to monitor your engagement and reach on Facebook. Simultaneously, begin thinking about other platforms that could supplement your potentially lackluster Facebook performance.
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