Data breaches have reduced Facebook usage, research says


We’re liking and sharing less than we used to on the famous social network, with both actions down by almost 20%, new data has found.

While engagement seems to have dropped off over the last 12 months, the number of Facebook accounts being created continues to rise.

Facebook also says that other metrics suggest the company is still growing, according to reports in the Guardian.

According to analytics company, Mixpanel, the drop of 20% can be traced back to April 2018. This was when news broke of the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica scandal, opening the world’s eyes to how non-consensual harvesting of private data could be used to undermine the democratic process.

While users on Facebook became more active over the summer, engagement dropped once again through the autumn and winter of last year, with the exception of a short period covering the US midterm elections.

More significantly, the steady downward trend has played out against a background of data privacy scandals and instances of hate speech. In September, PrivSec reported on how Facebook suffered a data breach that hit around 50m accounts. The platform has subsequently come under fire its role in exacerbating ethnic cleansing campaigns in Myanmar.

According to Facebook data, daily and monthly active user numbers entering the site have increased over the 12 months ending in March 2019. The company also reported an average of 1.56 billion daily active users for March, an increase of 8% on the same month in 2018. Monthly average users went through a similar climb of 8% this year in comparison with 2018.

Earlier in June, market monitors, eMarketer noted a fall in US Facebook usage, pointing to the finding that the average user passed 38 minutes each day on the social network – a drop from 41 minutes in 2017.

EMarketer said:

“On top of that, Facebook has continued to lose younger users, who are spreading their time and attention across other social platforms and digital activities.”


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