People Have Mixed Feelings about Facebook… But Can’t Quit It

In the 13 years since its launch, Facebook has become a central part of everyday life… for better or for worse, depending on who you talk to.

The social network that has more than 2 billion monthly active users inspires strong emotions in people, from love and loyalty, to annoyance and disdain.

A recent Verge study focused on the five big tech companies – Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft – found that Facebook is a polarizing brand. Some people love to hate it, yet many report getting a lot out of it. Here are some of the most interesting takeaways from the study, which surveyed 1,520 Americans nationally representative of 2016 US Census estimates.

Facebook keeps people connected.

Most respondents agreed with these statement about Facebook: “It helps me stay in touch” (75%), and “It has helped me reconnect” (62%).

The most common reasons people use Facebook are also centered around connecting and sharing with others:

  • “Send private messages to friends and family” (66.27%)
  • “Share personal photos or videos” (55.05%)
  • “Read, watch or share news about the world” (52.03%)
  • “Share happy personal updates” (49.62%)
  • “Communicate with a group” (40.74%)
  • “Share everyday personal updates” (34.34%)
  • “Follow pages of celebrities or brands” (32.15%)

Facebook is valued, yet not necessarily trusted.

Most respondents said they greatly like Facebook, and would care very much if it went away – more than they would greatly miss Apple – but only 11.45% said they couldn’t live without Facebook. Among the five tech companies in the survey, Facebook had the lowest percentage of people who liked its products and services; fewer people said they would recommend it to a friend or family member than they would the other four companies.

In the age of “fake news,” respondents said that most articles shared on Facebook are trustworthy. About half viewed news on Facebook as “about as trustworthy” as other news sources. But people also reported that news on Facebook is biased; more than twice as many people said it was more biased than other news sources, compared to respondents who said it was less biased.

And for people who don’t use Facebook, trust is low. A majority of non-users said they don’t trust it (57.26%), or don’t want to share anything on it (62.39%).

Facebook is important, but not irreplaceable.

Facebook has maintained a powerful position among other social networks for years. And while the network remains influential in social media marketing, this survey’s results is a good reminder that brands should diversify their strategy among several platforms. Nothing is fixed, and brands would be wise to explore different ways of connecting with their audiences.

 

Learn more about MtoM’s approach to social media marketing.

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