Facebook is having a really hard year retaining the trust of its users and advertisers. Not that the issue is an unforeseen event for the social media giant.
Unending allegations of breach of users’ privacy and security adds to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s image as the unaffected dictator of the digital world. But that doesn’t mean that people can’t complain more. As much as Americans are glued to their screens surfing Facebook and Instagram, there is no denying the fact that they are not happy the way digital giants are treating them.
Consider these numbers:
Percentage of adult Americans using social media have increased from 5% in 2005 to a whopping 79% in 2019.
If you are dumbfounded already, read this:
Globally, the percentage of Facebook users has increased from 1.5% in 2008 to 30% in 2018.
While the figures sound like a validation to be part of social media, you need to know other sides as well. Studies have frequently found that the rate of depression among social media users is 13-66% higher than the ones who are not on any social media platform.
Watch: Why many think that Facebook is breaking democracies
Users are Unhappy and Facebook should Listen
Doubts of users about the usage of social media are increasing, the testimony of which comes in BI’s US Digital Survey 2020. The survey asked users to rank 9 social media platforms on the basis of 5 pillars of trust. These social media platforms are- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tiktok, Snapchat and YouTube.
The five pillars of trust are the five factors that determine the trust of users while surfing online. These are security, legitimacy, community, experience and ad relevance. No prizes for guessing who didn’t win. Users ranked Facebook, Tiktok and Twitter as the platforms that they trust the least.
32, 22 and 21 percent people respectively said that these platforms fail to provide safe and protective online space to users. While people’s choice as the safest and most reliable platform to interact and engage with content was LinkedIn.
32 percent users said they trusted Facebook the least.
Facebook’s Obsession with Headlines
While the survey would have been a pain for LinkedIn or Snapchat but for Facebook, it is a drill. Here is a list of incidents in the past two months that saved Facebook a spot in the headlines which it totally seems to love:
- July 3, when Facebook started hunting for a Civil Rights Expert. It started when the advertising guild decided to boycott Facebook following accountability issues. These advertisers included giants like Coca Cola, Starbucks, Unilever PLC, Ford Motors, Microsoft Corp., etc.
- Ireland government on Sept 9, concerned about American government’s surveillance practices, restricted the rights of Facebook to send user data to the U.S. Ireland’s government further asked Facebook to re-engineer their data service or stop serving them entirely.
- The advertisers’ boycott followed a shocking move by Walt Disney. Walt Disney Co. on July 19, decided to cut down their advertising spending on Facebook by a huge margin. The difference between other advertisers and Walt Disney was the silence that the latter maintained while taking the big move.
- Another major news went viral when Facebook threatened the Australian government for restricting their citizens from sharing news and updates on Facebook and Instagram. This followed when in August end, it announced that Facebook and Google will have to negotiate with media companies over payment.
- Facebook employees in India came up with a demand in August to review and reform the company’s hate speech politics. This was primarily to keep a strict check on Indian politicians under violations of standard policy.