Last week, we considered whether or not the privacy controversy plaguing Facebook was actually having any measurable effect on its reputation (according to this top-line analyses, the answer was “no”), and suggested that Quit Facebook Day, scheduled for May 31, would be a telling indicator of users’ actual feelings on the subject.
Well, May 31 came and went, and the results are in: The movement wasn’t enough to cause even a blip on Facebook’s radar. According to www.quitfacebookday.com, a grand total of 36,035 people-that’s .009% of the overall user base-pledged to remove themselves from the platform. While it’s unclear exactly how many of those people actually quit, it’s safe to say that the initiative didn’t have quite the impact it had hoped. In fact, according to Forrester Research, Facebook added approximately 10 million users in the weeks following the controversial privacy changes unveiled at the f8 conference. That said, All Facebook uncovered one statistic that may or may not be telling: Web traffic monitoring platform Alexa showed a 3.19% decrease in page views for the month of May.
Regardless of which statistics you take as meaningful indicators of Facebook’s current reputation standing, the aforementioned Forrester blog post did highlight a few potential long-term impacts that could be game changers in Facebook’s quest for world domination:
- “Consumers tightening their privacy settings, resulting in less marketing opportunities and value for Facebook.
- Consumers opting out of sharing with future instant personalization partners (which now include just Yelp, Pandora, and Microsoft’s Docs.com).
- Consumers rejecting future Facebook programs, such as their promised geolocation check-in features.
- Actions by lawmakers and regulators (not just in the United States but elsewhere) to respond to privacy concerns of citizens.
- Encouragement for the development of open source competitors, such as Diaspora, which could someday pose an appealing alternative to consumers.
- And perhaps most importantly, the potential loss of trust and interest among large brands.”
As of right now, we think these forecasts from Forrester are among the most compelling we’ve seen so far. Is there anything you’d add to the list?