Facebook currently has a stranglehold on the social networking habits of America: two thirds of those online in the US are on Facebook, as compared to only 20% on LinkedIn and 16% on Twitter. But today, the Pew Internet & American Life Project released a report titled Coming and going on Facebook that highlights a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction spreading through Facebook users.
Based on telephone surveys of 1,006 American adults, Pew found that one in five online adult Americans who do not currently use Facebook said that they have used it in the past, suggesting that they’ve given up on the service. They also found that two-thirds of current Facebook users said that in some time in the past they have taken a voluntary break from the site for several weeks or longer.
The (relative) bad news is that a relatively large proportion of users is evidently finding Facebook time-draining, boring or annoying enough to have given it up for weeks at a time — still, despite a sense of dissatisfaction, these people ended up going back for more. But the most worrying statistic is that 27% of current Facebook users say that, in the future, they plan to spend less time on the site, and just 3% said they want to spend more time there. This is all part
of the population struggling to come to terms with an increasingly social landscape, but these trends will be important to watch for advertisers and tech startups alike.