Yesterday marked “Quit Facebook Day” thanks to a website which called on users to protest against the company for violating users’ trust and not providing sufficient privacy controls. The day came and went and the vast majority of users logged in to the site rather than deleting their accounts. While we can’t say that it wasn’t expected, the movement didn’t go unnoticed by mainstream media who took every opportunity to cover the event.
The timing of the “Quit Facebook Day” was what helped drive the media attention. For the past month Facebook has been the subject of intense scrutiny by the media, and even folks on Capital Hill who would like the company to be more transparent with their privacy system. Last week Facebook responded and so far the privacy advocates have been relatively silent.
For those anticipating some sort of privacy scandal climax that would result in a mass exodus or legislation of online privacy rights, you will have to wait. Instead, Facebook is slowly rolling out their new privacy settings, and many are waiting to see what the impact is. One thing is clear: despite the media backlash against Facebook’s privacy policies and methods of making changes, most users are willing to stay on the site, even with Facebook’s controversial products, like “Instant Personalization”, and open settings.
For now, the “Quit Facebook Day” movement appears to have been insignificant, but there is at least one sign that some users have turned away from the site. Alexa, a site which monitors internet traffic around the globe, shows a slight decline in traffic to Facebook over the past two weeks. Such short-term trends are not out of the ordinary however, as Facebook has seen such shifts in the past.
For those who are looking for more ominous signs that users are heading for the exits en masse, you’ll have to wait as yesterday was not the day the mass exodus took place.