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5 Reasons Why Facebook Quit Day Was a Flop

By now I'm sure you heard that talk is cheap; Facebook Quit Day earned the fail whale. Out of the multi-million users of Facebook, only 33,000 people quit. This was a surprise to some, but certainly not for me. I know why people did not quit

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  1. It was Memorial Day: To all those people in the future who try to plan an epic day of revolt, try not to plan it on a national holiday. No one is thinking about quitting Facebook on Memorial Day. We were out barbecuing, enjoying family, soaking up the beautiful weather (at least in California). In fact, we we on Facebook to wish everyone a happy holiday. Why ruin that with the doom and gloom of leaving the site?
  2. Facebook is a drug: Not literally, obviously, but we're addicted. You've seen smokers try to quit, you've seen alcoholics try to quit. It's not as easy to say “I'm going to quit on this day” cold turkey. Sure, Facebook doesn't have any (known) nicotine, but if you've made something a habit and have been doing it daily for at least a year (in my case, a few), you're not going to just decide “Hey I'm going to quit” and follow through.
  3. Privacy updated: Don't you remember that Facebook just updated privacy settings to make it a bit simpler to understand? That was the bulk of most people's issues with Facebook in the first place. When the problem is solved, what's there to leave?
  4. We still have people to stalk!: If we were to quit Facebook, how else are we supposed to stalk, I mean, keep in touch with all those lovely people we used to know? It's the easiest way to not get caught when you're checking on the people you admire (or loathe) the most.
  5. Few of us GET it: When you join Facebook, or any other social network for that matter, you should understand that you're forfeiting some right to privacy. Don't you understand that nothing on the internet is private? Once you put it out there, it's out there forever. Some of us actually understand that, so the privacy thing was never a big deal. You don't want people to know, you don't put it out there, DUH. So the few of us that actually got that in the beginning never planned on quitting in the first place.

I'm still a little surprised that many people quit; regardless of how many users Facebook has, 33,000 people is still a nice chunk (contrary to the belief of some guy I was arguing with on Digg). But you have to also take into account that some of those people, if not most of them, will be back. Unless they're going back to MySpace. *cringe*

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  • ofismobilyalari's picture
    Jan 16 Posted 1 year ago ofismobilyalari Great content. Thanks. I see less and less activity amongst my connections every day. I see less businesses promoting the 'Follow us on FB' idea.
  • Jul 16 Posted 5 years ago Sean (not verified)

    Facebook is a social site and it is part of our nature to be social.  The problem with any technology that virtualizes social or psychological processes is that the boundaries of distinction between the actual and the virtual fall down. So for those who may toy with the idea of quitting Facebook the decision to leave may envoke a sense of being 'deviant' or anti-social in some way. Most of us can not tollerate such feelings and so any reasons that may have provoked our feelings to leave in the first place will be overridden.

  • Jun 8 Posted 6 years ago ScifiAliens I was waiting for the story to be developed. Perhaps I missed the details but most of the news article seemed to consist of 'this many people plan to quit FaceBook due to privacy concerns...' It didn't seem like that many people in light of how many users FB must have. Besides, I think even teen-agers are learning not to post embarrassing pics (of themselves) or private info. Regardless of FB's claims of 'ownership' of data and/or photos they still have to abide by the law and face the consequences when they don't.

    My personal bias is that of a very part-time FB user. I'm there, but not often and not for long. My Twitter updates are linked, which is perhaps my main reason for even being on FB. And I do think twice about anything I post...even this. 
  • brianaford's picture
    Jun 7 Posted 6 years ago BrianaFord Sorry guys! Missed a few comments:

    @Pamela: A lot of people didn't hear about it, so definitely not surprising.

    @Brett: I'm 19 years old so of course I'm not an expert or have any credentials. I'm merely a college student who is obsessed with social media expressing my opinion. It simply was "in my case" and there are "a few of us who actually got it". I had HEARD of Friendster but wasn't interested in it because none of my FRIENDS were on it, defeating the purpose. It took me 2 days (and more to respond to yours) because I'm a full time student and work full time DOING social media marketing, and didn't even know my post was here, and I'm sure people can Google their own numbers. I'm not concerned because this is simply a hobby, not a legit entity yet, so that's the difference between you and I. I understand what it was designed to do, so please don't get me wrong. All in all, your opinion was welcomed but definitely seemed like you took my post personally. Once again, this is a hobby until I make this my career. I'm 19 not 39. And you're welcome to read or not read, respect or not respect my posts :) Thanks

    @Sanket: I think that's interesting that Asia is the majority of Facebook. That'd be a great case study to see how many people from Asia quit/didn't quit. Great points on why people hate FB!

    @Kaira: True; a lot of people did not hear about it. Out of the 800+ of my friends, MAYBE 20 heard about it? And even if they did, they didn't care much because they're still active. It's not that Facebook is blatantly disregarding our privacy. I just don't think they considered how big of a deal people were going to make out of it. I personally get that if I don't want something shown on the internet, I won't post it, but a lot of people who are complaining about the privacy post ridiculous pictures, personal information, etc.

    @Fiona: I agree; customers will do what customers want. Go to your customers and business will follow! :)
  • FionaMcEachran's picture
    Jun 6 Posted 6 years ago FionaBosticky I was reading another blog the other day, from a professional small business lady who said she was quitting Facebook.  She said she was encouraging her customers back to using the phone, and a more "personal" touch.  One thing I've learned about customers, is = customer will do what customers want.  And if all your customers are using Facebook, and want to be your "friend" or "like" your business page, you should make sure you are there.  I don't think the transition from Web 1.0 to 2.0 to 3.0 is about to slow down... ;)
  • Jun 4 Posted 6 years ago LarryBrauner Here's a funny parody on You Tube:

    I'm Quitting You, Facebook


  • brianaford's picture
    Jun 4 Posted 6 years ago BrianaFord
    @Elin: I love the iPhone app. Thank you for admiting it's a habit. It's the first step in the road to recovery hehe. Thanks for the comment!

    @Natalie: There was supposedly an invite but of course there's no way it was sent to every single person. I mostly heard about it from other social media websites like Mashable. I'm glad you're one of the people who GET it! Thanks for reading!

    @Warren: Very true; emotions run too high in boycotts, and people usually get ignored. I love your party analogy. Thanks for the comment!

    @InternetMarketingConsultant: I (personally) didn't see many pros to quit Facebook. I think it's an individual weight of pros & cons.

    @Josh: Thank you! I never thought about them just removing themselves from the group. Besides, who's really going to check? No worries about the name; happens all the time
  • Jun 4 Posted 6 years ago JoshTitsworth It might help if I got your name right DOH! Briana! #fail
  • Jun 4 Posted 6 years ago JoshTitsworth Another good post Brianna. 33,000 vs. the millions on Facebook, I agree. Flop. While it seems they are moving in the right direction, they still have some more wrinkles to iron out. When I first heard of the Quit Day I thought hmm this will be interesting. But the more I thought about it the more I realized I don't think this is going to be nearly as big as the group thinks it will be. What I'm interested to see is if the people actually quit, or just removed themselves from the group.
  • Warren Whitlock's picture
    Jun 4 Posted 6 years ago TwitterRevolution

    A boycott is almost always a bad idea. Angry mobs rarely do anything constructive and usually can't get organized.

     

    If you like Facebook, you put up with it's faults. If you don't, you leave. It's an individual choice. Getting a group to join you is like leaving a party to go home and telling everyone they should do the same.

    Announcing you are leaving is either a cry for attention or dumb power play.

  • brianaford's picture
    Jun 4 Posted 6 years ago BrianaFord @Larry: Great points! Especially not knowing how (which could definitely be confusing) and feeling guilty
  • Jun 3 Posted 6 years ago LarryBrauner More reasons why more people didn't quit:
    • They weren't sure how to quit
    • They were afraid their friends would find out
    • They thought it was a different day
    • They wanted to be around to see who they know who quit
    • Their Internet service was interrupted by a natural disaster
    • They felt guilty about quitting
    • They were coerced by a family member into staying
    • They had some lame excuse for not quitting

     


  • brianaford's picture
    Jun 3 Posted 6 years ago BrianaFord
    Sorry I just got to view this so let me answer your comments (and thank you for reading them!)

    @Darren: Sticky is definitely the word. We're not quite done with Facebook yet, and I don't think many people were ready to let it go.

    @Sean: I never tried Friendster but if we're going back to MySpace, I'll go that far too!

    @Miguel: Quitting while you're head may have been a good decision. Unfortunately, it's too late for me

    @Paolo: Thanks so much! Hope you keep reading :)

    @Emcee: I'll have to check out your site to see if it's equally addicting

    @Karen: Love your post, especially the title lol

    @Jamie: Will check it out soon!

    @Kevin: Just going back to me calling it a drug. A lot of people who are addicted to something relapse. I don't see social networking being any different if someone was truly addicted to it and made it a part of their routine. It usually takes 21 days for someone to start a new habit. We're only on day 4 of them quitting.

    @Phace: I agree that it's inevitable that Facebook will soon meet its fate, just not sure how soon. I see a bit of the opposite; I'm getting more of my connections updating and more people are just now joining. For those of us who've been on it for a long time, it'll be a bit easier to quit because we're getting tired of it.

    @flevour: Yes, I know not only Americans use Facebook, but I honestly can't speak for other countries because I only live here!

    @Patrick: I definitely understand your point. I call it a flop because 33,000 people compared to the millions of people who use Facebook (don't have the number in front of me, but I'm sure it's a Google search away), it wasn't a large percentage of people. I would've expected hundreds of thousands.

    @Vonneil: I don't think we are the world, even if we made the song. I've been on the internet since I was 9 years old, interacting with others. I have friends in multiple countries so no, I don't think we're the only ones who use the internet. But like I said to flevour, I can't speak for other countries; I can only speak for myself and the people I know. Can't say I check Canadian holidays when doing events because I typically don't do events that involve Canadians, but that's just me. I never have/will think a private for profit company has my best interest in mind, mostly because I know a for profit's motivation is usually money in the long run anyways. I use Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends, so I don't think Facebook owes me anything but to continue to provide the service to me. I agree that companies change even after we sign up, but it's the responsibility of the user to keep up and the company to let the people know. Like I said to Patrick, comparing statistics (now I have looked up the number), 100 million people (in February) to 33,000. That is 0.00033. That, in my math standards, is a flop, because it's less than 1 thousandth of a percent.

    Thank you all for your comments! I really appreciate it
  • Jun 3 Posted 6 years ago VonneilWoodley Oops, I meant ten times as many AMERICANS as Canadians.  Hopefully that was obvious.  Still, I like the way Flevour said "US Americans", since technically everyone from North America - maybe South America too? is entitled to call him or herself "American".
  • Jun 3 Posted 6 years ago VonneilWoodley Flevour - thank you!
    What is it about US American internet users.  Do they truly believe they ARE the world?  The quit FB movement was actually begun by a Canadian.  Granted, it would have been helpful if he had checked the US calendar first, but surely he can be forgiven ( do you ever check Canadian holidays before picking a date for an event or online activity, Briana? ).
    True, there likely would have been more subscribers (or quitters) had he picked another date, given that there are ten times as many Canadians in the world as Americans.  But, come on, the internet is international and Patrick is correct, it was not a flop.  In fact, those of us who stayed with facebook should be grateful there are people out there who don't just assume that a private "for profit" company has the user's best interest in mind.  It was the protest which caused the changes to facebook's privacy policy, such as they are.  I am lucky enough to have friends who don't balk at reading (sometimes wading) through facebook's continually changing regulations and let me know when to change what and HOW (let's face it, the book isn't going to make that easy now is it?).  But there's the problem.  What we click "yes" to when we sign up  is not necessarily what we end up being part of once the company changes its policies - again, and again and again.
  • Jun 3 Posted 6 years ago PatrickBarbanes1 I think you're right about the Memorial Day thing, but I do believe that your starting point - that the Quit Facebook protest was a flop - is wrong.

     The Quit Facebook protest was NOT a flop. Let's take your #3 point, for example. Although the Privacy Settings have been altered yet again - and still not necessarily satisfactorily - the privacy settings were not the primary objection; it's the way in which Facebook is making the changes, the lack of clear communication, the surreptitious way they go about it, that is causing people to lose trust in Facebook. And the privacy settings would not have even been altered (yet again), if not for the voices of concerned users, some of whom grew weary or angry enough to quit. The Quit Facebook movement HELPED in some degree to get Zuckerberg to see the error of his privacy setting way. I wouldn't call that a flop. Just as the number of Friends or Followers or Fans one has does not necessarily imply reach or influence or authority, neither does the few (!) 30,000+ users who quite Facebook imply a flop.

    You can read more of my thoughts about it on my post “Quit Facebook” Protest Was Not In Vain

  • Jun 3 Posted 6 years ago FrancescoLevorato By the way, not all FB users are US americans.
  • Jun 3 Posted 6 years ago PhaceBuk
    You don't have to cancel an account to quit facebook.  The destruction of facebook is taking place right before your eyes.  I see less and less activity amongst my connections every day.  I see less businesses promoting the 'Follow us on FB' idea.  You used to hear the word Facebook 20 times a day - TV, Radio, etc. - not so much these days.

    Diminishing activity levels in a social application are bad bad news.  They will only build upon themselves.  It's not going to happen over night, but it will happen. 

    Their arrogance was their downfall.
  • Jun 3 Posted 6 years ago KevinHorne

    "But you have to also take into account that some of those people, if not most of them, will be back."

    I'm curious as to your reasoning/assumptions behind that comment?

  • Jun 3 Posted 6 years ago JamieAdams Check out this I'm Quitting You Facebook rap from well known parodyrapper @seaniemic that is getting a lot of attention - even catching the eye of Mashable! It's hilarious - check it out I promise it's worth it! @jamieadams76 http://mashable.com/2010/06/01/quitting-facebook-parody-rap/
  • Jun 3 Posted 6 years ago karenpost Great post. My reasons for taking a break. http://marketing.oddpodz.com/2010/05/23/facebook-i-just-not-that-into-you/
  • Jun 3 Posted 6 years ago EmceeHao i quitted to do more updates on my own site. i was definitely addicted and my time was wasted.
  • Jun 3 Posted 6 years ago PaoloDeRiz I completely agree with you, Briana. Great post!
  • DarrenCahr's picture
    Jun 1 Posted 6 years ago DarrenCahr I think that the main reason Quit Facebook Day flopped was that it has simply become too significant a part of the lives of too many people.  My theory is here: http://www.legallysocial.com/archives/176.  When you have page views measured in the hundreds of billions more than your closest competitor, your site is officially sticky, and folks don't just leave it at the drop of a hat.

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