Despite the overall increase in the total number of users, there have been many reports this week that around six million people in the United States alone have left Facebook in the last month. The UK and Russia also both showed losses of more than 100,000. Six million may sound like a lot of people to stop using a particular service, but when you consider that Facebook now has around 700 million registered account holders, it equates to less than 1%. Given the continued growth of the social network it is not being considered a huge concern for those in charge.
The reasons for the sudden exodus may be equally varied and equally legitimate. There has been a bit of a backlash against the new (optional, although opt-out) facial recognition feature, which offers photo tag suggestions if the Facebook engine thinks a face in a friend’s album matches your own – all sounds very MI5/CIA and this was probably the straw that broke the privacy camel’s back for many users. Some people also just find they are spending too much time of Facebook and want to experience the real world again, not just a blue and white version of it where the simplest expression of emotion is a thumbs-up.
I even have friends who cancelled – or at least temporarily deactivated – their accounts whilst searching for or starting new jobs. Firstly it’s a distraction, and secondly there could well be content on their profiles that, when viewed in the wrong or misunderstood context, could be a big turn-off to potential employers.
So if you do feel the need to jump ship from Facebook, there’s no need to leave all of your memories behind. SocialSafe was originally designed to backup your Facebook account content if you were to somehow lose it, but now people are leaving their online personas behind, it has come into its own as a means of taking your photos, comments, updates, wall posts and friends with you. Facebook can’t be everything to everyone, and if you’ve simply had enough of the Farmville requests or you’re getting freaked out by the privacy settings, you can still enjoy and search through the content that you and your friends have created over the years, through an offline digital diary.