Users Increasingly Put Limits On Facebook Time, Access

Social media, notably Facebook, is an integral part of most businesses’ marketing and engagement with their customers. However, new data from Pew Research shows that most Americans’ relationship with the platform is evolving, with 74 percent of those surveyed taking some step to either limit Facebook’s access to their personal data or curtail their time on the site.

In a survey of approximately 4,600 Americans, 18 years of age or older, conducted May 29-June 11, Pew Research found that 54 percent have adjusted their privacy settings in the past 12 months. Furthermore, 42 percent have taken a break from checking the site for several weeks or more at a time and 26 percent have deleted the app from their phones.

Pew Research notes that the disclosure that Cambridge Analytica surreptitiously collected data on tens of millions of Facebook users may be a factor in Americans’ decisions to step away from the site. Following the revelations, Facebook made it easier for users to download data the site collected about them and nine percent took the opportunity. Of that group, 47 percent deleted the app from their cellphone and 79 percent adjusted their privacy settings.

There are also differences based on age in Pew Research’s findings, with younger users more likely to take steps to limit Facebook’s access. The survey found that for those 18 to 29, 44 percent have deleted the app from their phone in the past year, compared to 12 percent for those 65 and older. Similarly, one third of those over 65 have adjusted their privacy settings in the past 12 months, compared to 64 percent of younger users. However, similar shares of younger and older users have taken breaks of several weeks or more from the site.

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