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[dupe] Americans are changing their relationship with Facebook (pewresearch.org)
95 points by sebst on Sept 10, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 61 comments

No surprise. A 250MB app that needs updates every week, can’t show your friends most recent updates on a chronological timeline, doesn’t let you chat with tour friends, analyzes everything within the app including maybe facial emotions, and keeps sending useless notifications to make you open the app; no wonder people are fed up and delete it.

Also eating battery, always wanting to do stuff in the background, showing ads that make it seems like it's listening to your conversations.

"The new survey finds that around one-in-ten Facebook users (9%) have downloaded the personal data about them available on Facebook. But despite their relatively small size as a share of the Facebook population, these users are highly privacy-conscious."

9% of a huge number is... a huge number.

Over 2B user base means 200 million have downloaded their data. That's a large nation's worth of concerned people.

Maybe that includes Cambridge Analytica's requests for personal data ... would explain why the number is so high.

And yet, my wife and I downloaded our personal data from Facebook for reasons very different than privacy (legal evidence stuff), so that's a broad brush.

I and several others I know just downloaded it for fun.

There could be a lot of story lines here. I go for web over apps as much as possible. Less resource hogging. More control over things like notifications.

I just don't have a burning need to check my FB notifications. But I'll still check FB a couple times a day. No need for the app, but I haven't deleted my FB account either.

I also prefer the stripped down web version which is "free" on mobile connections in places like the Philippines. No images, no video, just plain text in an ugly interface. Perfect.

For most people image sharing is the primary Facebook use case. Other social networks and messaging apps dominate plain text sharing.

For me, it depends not on what the masses are doing, but what group I want to keep in contact with. Family, friends, locals, hobbyists, etc might all be at different locations on different platforms. For example, one of the communities I'm most active with uses an old PHP script.

There's nothing ugly about it.

It's real.

I wonder how many people who have "deleted the app" do what my SO does and keep using it daily via their phone's web browser whilst still telling people "Yeah I've totally deleted Facebook from my phone".

It's a step that reduces privacy invasion, makes use less convenient, and keeps you from getting alerts. A step in the right direction.

Your web browser is a lot less likely to grab your recent calls and GPS location.

When I deleted FB from my phone, it was a solid statement of "I will not use FB on my phone". I do still use Messenger, because it's primary contact mechanism anymore for so many people, but I don't read the feed on my phone, period.

You're still giving them location data and customer profile information. Probably something like: "white male, from $STATE, income bracket derived from home and work location, and probably flagged as "privacy conscious" because you never use the app. That profile is valuable to at least some advertisers.

Yes, but my reasons for getting off FB aren't privacy paranoia. I don't particularly care that they're tracking me.

I dialed back Facebook because it ate time better spent doing other things, and I like myself better when I'm not yelling at people who are wrong on the Internet so much.

Paranoia? Yeah, that's a completely unacceptable phrase considering what they're actually doing. Shame.

Or they moved to instragram. That'll really show zuckerburg what's what.

I only use the mobile browser version because the app is laggy and forces you to install their shitty dedicated messenger app just to read messages.

At least thats how it was 1,5yrs ago or so, haven't tried it since then again.

I was getting redirected to the messenger app from the mobile browser version, as well. They seemed to quit letting me used messenger in the browser.

mbasic.facebook.com still has messages.

Excellent. Thank you.

I can't even delete it from my android phone without rooting it

That's on your carrier+FB.

Imagine if Facebook didn't buy Instagram. They must have seen this coming.

Yep.. the instagram guys sold to early.. Well that being said maybe Facebook would have developed an instagram killer but the separate entity sure helps.

Yeah, you have to give it to Mark Z for his prescience on that one.

And a flag to regulators for not blocking or at least more heavily investigating that acquisition

I dont know if they would have had anything to be wary of. Instagram was much smaller then and even tech savvy folk like us HN folk didn't think much of it at the time: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3817840

I was noticing this morning that their "I don't want to see this" feature seems to be stored client side. For a second while the page is loading I'll see an article that immediately poofs away because the client side js reads the setting and hides the article.

Every single time this morning that I refreshed the page, I saw a few articles poof away. They really want me to see the tabloid crap I marked as don't want to see.

more likely the JS that hides the content or the JSON containing the hide filter are loaded/run/processed after the content

Facebook could be processing this client side instead of serving the content already filtered so you could un-hide content almost instantly. Either that or ease of development.

I think it's doubtful that Facebook wouldn't store that information server-side (you know, to achieve even better ad targeting). Maybe it's both, though.

I think the Facebook "I don't want to see this" data is stored server-side, but the code that actually hides posts runs as client-side javascript. That would explain why the client spins so much loading/hiding posts you've hidden, and why the hidden-ness is persistent across browsers.

I've gotten the impression from several accounts that, despite their prestige, Facebook's application code is often unbelievably janky, and this just confirms that.

I often have this same experience. I find the experience of having the article "taken away" to be very irritating.

"Deleting the app" from your mobile is like an overweight person hiding the cookies or a cigarette smoker hiding their cigarettes - it's at least a conscious decision to make better choices, however everyone knows it won't work until you actually stop the behavior.

> "Deleting the app" from your mobile is like an overweight person hiding the cookies or a cigarette smoker hiding their cigarettes - it's at least a conscious decision to make better choices, however everyone knows it won't work until you actually stop the behavior.

I disagree. A cookie jar doesn't encourage you to make bad choices by nagging you to eat another cookie if you haven't had one in while. Facebook will try to grab your attention any way it can to get you to make the bad choice to open up their app another time. A practical and effective way to escape those attempts is to delete their software from your devices.

A practical and effective way to escape those attempts is to delete <strike>their software from your devices</strike> your account.

There's also an argument to be made, that cookie makers want you to keep eating cookies, just like Facebook wants you to keep "sharing". Facebook has an advantage (living on a device you obsess over), however those cookies you hid on top of your refrigerator ... are they whispering to me?

> A practical and effective way to escape those attempts is to delete <strike>their software from your devices</strike> your account.

That is another way to do it, but it might not fit many people's lifestyles as well intermediate measures like deleting the app. Facebook is a communication channel, just like email and the telephone, and totally deleting your account has definite costs that vary from person to person. I think it's totally fine for people to manage how they make their own tradeoffs, and I know for a fact that the most extreme action is often more than is really required to get resuts.

Take myself, for example. I'm quite anti-facebook and hardly ever use their software. But I haven't deleted my account because I have friends and acquaintances who still use it for event planning, and I don't want to be either left out or be a prima donna demands special treatment. I get an email notification when I get an invite, and I only log in to RSVP and check the event info.

This will go down as one of Facebook’s most brilliant and effective marketing achievements: They’ve instilled this irrational fear in over a billion people that their social lives will suddenly collapse without Facebook. Any time you suggest to someone (who already dislikes FB) to delete their FB account or just stop using it, you get this totally predictable stream of excuses as to why they can’t live without it. There is probably a marketing slide deck at Facebook headquarters somewhere with all these excuses written down as goals and planned. Total genius on their part.

I don’t remember the last time I’ve logged in to Facebook (over 7 years ago?) and I assure you my social life is more robust than ever. If you don’t like Facebook or what it’s turning the world into, the only thing stopping you from quitting is yourself.

That's a problem for me, too. I'm in a few bands and otherwise host events, and I'm involved in other performance scenes, so FB events are really important to me. They're the #1 reason I can't give it up completely.

Meetup, Evite, probably many more in this space. All you need to invite someone is an E-mail address.

> Meetup, Evite, probably many more in this space. All you need to invite someone is an E-mail address.

I could use one of those to plan an event, but there's no way that I can force people to use them to invite me to and event they're planning instead of Facebook. If they choose to use Facebook, I'm not getting an invite unless I have a Facebook account.

My solution to that problem is to leave up a vestigial Facebook account that I never use and very obviously communicates that I no longer use the site. It contributes to the impression that Facebook use declining and ensures I won't miss anything.

In theory.

In practice, it means signing up for another service for most people. Social penetration of Meetup/Evite/etc is far lower than that of Facebook.

If your friends really want to include you in their event, they will find a way to invite you.

I have a very active social life, and have never been on FB.

I exited facebook too. Unfortunately, I started using Instagram instead.

Same thing. At least I know that Instagram is mostly all fake and ego-inflating, and I am totally fine with that.

Plus I have much stricter controls on Instagram and only allow a few people to see my photos and videos.

Strangely, the front page is linking a better summary than the single item view: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/05/facebook-exodus-44-percent-o...

Especially insofar as it includes this topline note:

> The survey does not measure usage of Facebook's Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, all of which remain popular overseas, and does not measure Facebook's continuing growth overseas.

As a shareholder: not too worried about this. Instagram and WhatsApp have plenty of room for growth that can compensate for FB users leaving. A few weeks ago, WhatsApp released its official API[0] and at least here in Europe i have seen many companies starting to utilize it. For example airlines, sending WhatsApp messages keeping you updated on the status of your flight, much more convenient than installing a extra app for every airline. Lot of potential there.

[0] usable via third party providers, for example Twilio

I find this kind of amusing. I suspect the adoption of this varies by area/country based on how, ahem, well, poorly basic SMS is implemented and priced in that area.

For example I notice that when in Germany, Whatsapp adoption is quite high, because SMS rates are absolutely ridiculous. Other countries... less so.

I still get SMS (and email, but SMS frankly still pushes more reliably than data based systems) notifications for my airlines, and that also certainly qualifies as Not An Extra App :)

SMS will always be more reliable than data service because SMS runs over the GSM signalling side channel.

Which is irrelevant when GSM is going away and additionally Wi-Fi being more and more common.


Aaaand last airport I flew through had a wifi signup which required your phone number.

To send you an SMS.

With a code for the wifi.

So uh...

I'll continue to take my SMS notifications (and emails, which also have nice well-known offline sync properties...) over any more modern appy things, please and thank you.

I don't think it's about leaving Facebook - it's just that their app is ridiculously bad. Some people I know eagerly switched to FaceSlim after I showed it to them, which is just a Facebook's web interface wrapped in a lightweight app with added notification features.

I use Facebook pretty regularly, but have never installed the app on my phone or tablet because of all the horrible things I've heard about it.

What is the reinstall rate? Are historicals higher or lower? What are typical app delete rates for other apps?

So many bits of missing information that prevent these stats from actually providing meaningful insight.

Yeah, and how many of those are on Instagram and WhatsApp?

I cannot remove it on my Samsung S9+ phone, just "disable"

As this paragraph reveals, the title is predictably overblown:

> "Overall, 26 percent of survey respondents say they deleted the app, while 42 percent have "taken a break" for several weeks or more, and 54 percent have adjusted their privacy settings."

The article could be clearer, but 26% might be out of all age groups. 44% is only the people in the 18-29 age range.

I would be curious to see additional breakdowns. Sure 26% deleted the app, but are they still using messenger? How many are using a web version of Facebook or have stopped using the platform entirely?

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