More than one in 10 Facebook users say they have quit the social network due to concerns over privacy and protection of their data, according to the latest IBD/TIPP Poll published by Investor's Business Daily.
The poll said 11% of users claimed they quit Facebook (FB), while another 19% said they have never used the social network. When the number of non-Facebook users is subtracted out, the ratio of people who said they quit the platform rises to 13%.
"Facebook users have a lot of concerns about how Facebook handles their personal data," said Raghavan Mayur, president of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, which conducts the poll in collaboration with IBD.
The poll also shows that a majority of those still using the service lack confidence in how Facebook handles user privacy. About 45% said they were "not at all confident" that Facebook adequately protects the privacy of personal data. Another 28% said they were "not very confident," for a combined total of 73%.
Just 2% said they were "confident" in Facebook's handling of user data while 17% said they were somewhat confident.
"It's a big eye opener," said Mayur. "Facebook has a long way to go to regain the trust of people."
Worrisome Results From Facebook Users
The IBD/TIPP poll surveyed 902 people aged 18 and older across America. The survey includes the monthly Economic Optimism Index as well as the Presidential Leadership Index.
It's a worrisome report for the social media behemoth in the U.S., where growth in Facebook users has flattened at about 242 million monthly active users over the last several quarters. The number of daily active users has stalled as well, at around 185 million.
Globally, monthly active Facebook users totaled 2.3 billion in the fourth quarter. That's up 2% from the third quarter, led by gains in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
The amount of people quitting Facebook in the U.S. comes as the company has been hammered by repeated investigations about data privacy issues for more than a year. Facebook is under the threat of increased regulation, both in the U.S. and Europe. Regulators worry over how it handles user privacy and also how it uses data for targeting advertisements.
About 40% of Facebook users said there has been no change in how often they visit the site. Another 28% said they have reduced their usage.
The poll asked respondents if they approve of Facebook using personal information to deliver targeted ads. A total of 74% disapproved while 19% approved.
Facebook Stock Suffers
Facebook stock is down 20% from hitting a record high of 218.62 on July 25.
Shares of Facebook plunged 19% on July 26 after the company reported second-quarter earnings that missed estimates on revenue and lowered its outlook. The drop took a chunk of more than $100 billion off Facebook's market value that day.
In the third quarter, monthly active users and revenue missed views. Facebook stock surged on Jan. 31 following its fourth-quarter earnings report that beat estimates and showed stable user trends.
Facebook also owns Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. The company eventually plans to phase out Facebook-only community metrics and will combine the metrics of all four platforms.
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