Over the past month or so, the drumbeat of ominous news about Facebook and how its user data have been used (or misused) by the social platform and customers such as Cambridge Analytica has been never-ending.
To hear the hyperventilating of reporters, you might think that Facebook was teetering on the brink of an implosion or similar corporate catastrophe as a result of all the nasty revelation.
Well … maybe not so much.
Securities firm Raymond James has surveyed a sample of ~500 Internet users in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica “user abuse” allegations in an effort to determine just how concerned people are about the news, and how it might be impacting on Facebook usage.
It comes as no surprise at all that a clear majority of those surveyed have concerns about Facebook’s use of their personal data. To wit:
- Very concerned about Facebook’s use of personal data: ~44%
- Somewhat concerned: ~40%
- Not concerned: ~15%
But when asked how they may be changing their use of the social platform as a result of knowing about Facebook’s treatment of their personal data, it turns out that only ~8% of the survey respondents have stopped using (or plan to stop using) the platform.
On the other hand, a solid half of the survey respondents report no changes at all in their use of Facebook – now or in the future.
For those in the “mushy middle,” the majority of them plan to use the social platform “somewhat less” rather than “significantly less” than before.
So, what we’re witnessing is unmistakably heightened user concerns generated by a flurry of news reports that lead to … very little.
In fact, in a report that accompanies the survey findings, Raymond James’ analysts go even further, predicting that user concerns will likely ease as the news cycle slows on this topic.
Considering how strongly Facebook has integrated itself into many people’s daily lives, that prognosis comes as little surprise to me.
But what about you? Have you made changes in your usage of the social platform? Have you noticed changes made by your friends on Facebook? Feel free to share your perspectives with other readers.