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Users to Facebook: Meh

[ 0 ] February 7, 2013 |

A new Pew study shows that nearly two-thirds of users have taken “Facebook vacations” of weeks or more, and more than a quarter expect to spend less time on the site in the coming year…

Is the bloom off the rose, or is it just a sign of Facebook maturing as a media option?

Although two-thirds of all adults in the United States use Facebook, making it dominant among social media, most appear to be taking the non-stop-share-a-thon down a notch.

According to a study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 61% of Facebook Users have taken a voluntary leave from the site that lasted weeks or longer.

Further, 27% said they plan to use the site less in the coming year, and 20% of online adults who once used the site no longer do so at all.

The top reason cited for a Facebook vacation was simply being too busy (21%). Other top reasons included:

* Just wasn’t interested/just didn’t like it – 10%
* Waste of time/content not relevant – 10%
* Too much drama/gossip/negativity/conflict – 9%
* Just got tired/bored with it – 7%
* Just because – 6%

Burnout is hardly a surprising development for a phenomenon that has become almost omnipresent throughout the online space, and crossed over to traditional media as well.

Many of the reasons cited for decline in Facebook usage could be said of most media products. Time is at a premium while media options continue to increase, requiring content to not just be fresh, but increasingly relevant and compelling.

Even with 38% of those aged 18-29 planning to spend less time with Facebook, the site is hardly in trouble. Pew notes that, on average, 69% plan to use the site as least as much as before, and globally, Facebook has more than 1 billion monthly users and a staggering 618 million daily users.

It’s possible that “Facebook vacations” may be the first sign that intense media clutter is starting to affect consumer behavior.

Then again, maybe it’s just because.

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Category: Ideas and Innovation, Think Pieces

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