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While users have plenty of complaints about privacy, the network and usage are still growing
Facebook will be ten years old tomorrow. To all my brethren who began using Facebook in college when it was only open to those with .edu email addresses, we are officially a bunch of olds. Please excuse me while I cry into my Mucilax while watching “Golden Girls” reruns.
The world’s largest social networking site, which was 1.23 billion strong as of December 2013, is still growing, despite slightly inaccurate claims that teens are abandoning the site in droves. (Pew’s data shows that while teens have a lot of mounting complaints about Facebook, few have actually abandoned the site.) Currently, 57% of all U.S. adults and 73% of U.S. teens ages 12-17 use the site. And the amount of usage isn’t waning at all: fully 64% of Facebook users visit the site on a daily basis, which is up from 51% in 2010.
The average Facebook user now has 338 friends, but half of all Facebook users have less than 200 friends. Younger users tend to have more friends (27% of 18- to 29-year-olds have more than 500 friends) while 72% of users aged 65+ have fewer than 100 friends.
That said, the people do have some complaints. As Facebook has grown, it’s become harder for many users to keep a low profile. Topping the list of complaints is oversharing by friends (I really don’t want to know any more about your sexual experimentation) and friends sharing one’s information and pictures without permission. Privacy is a big issue, and a full 36% of users complained about both of those Facebook downsides. Additionally, 57% of Facebook users with young children say they strongly dislike the fact that others can share pictures of their child and information without their permission.
There’s also the fact that it’s becoming harder to keep certain posts hidden from certain people. Some 27% of users dislike the fact that occasionally, certain people can see posts they didn’t mean for them to see, while 24% of users dislike the pressure to share too much information about themselves.
A fair amount of users have also experienced “Facebook drama” with 12% reportedly being asked by friends to unfriend a certain person. Among younger users (18-29), that number jumps to 19%.
So with all those complaints, why do users keep coming back? 47% of users use the site because they enjoy the photos and videos their friends post, while 46% like having the ability to share with multiple people at once, and 39% say they like seeing updates from others and humorous content.
Facebook shares have been trading at an all-time high ($62 as of this writing) since the company revealed that mobile advertising topped $1 billion for the first time and mobile now accounts for 50% of all advertising revenue.
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