About half of a study on Facebook users claimed they quit Facebook, or committed "virtual identity suicide" because of privacy concerns.
The University of Vienna study in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking looked at 631 Facebook users, which 310 were considered Facebook quitters, and found that 48 percent cited privacy as the reason to stop using the social network. Other reasons cited were general dissatisfaction (13.5 percent) and online relationship annoyances such as "shallow conversation" (12.6), according to the International Business Times. Another 6 percent were afraid of Internet addiction.
The 2010 data was analyzed and released earlier this month. Study participants were found from an online community of 40,000 Facebook quitters. Most of the quitters tended to be older and male, and the study writers even conceded they may not be Facebook's target demographic.
There have been various reports of Facebook's demise, none of which is accurate for the social network that boasts 1 billion users. We previously wrote about part of the reason could be that users lack control when Facebook friends post photos, which can alienate friends. Facebook's user numbers have grown overall, but as of May, the social network lost 11 million U.S. users, according to Nielsen.
Does this indicate Facebook fatigue? It could, but it could also just indicate a growing number of people dislike losing privacy or control over it and may step away from a social network of rising ads, less privacy and superficial online relationships.