Yesterday I quit Facebook. What a great feeling! It is like Hape Kerkeling's book title "I'm Off Then". I know that some of my most prominent posting-friends on the platform will call this step crazy foolishness. How can you give up such a cheap sales-channel for your personal brand? But I actually find this step totally natural. I think Facebook is out, or not? The stock exchange may predict this very well already. For sure, my own studies on Facebook with over 1500 Austrian and Germany users last winter showed that 53% have already thought about reducing time on the platform. 47% agreed that they are increasingly bored by the platform. And 72% even said that if Facebook deleted all their data tomorrow they wouldn't feel sorry. So why lose more time there? Only because there aren't many alternatives right now? Why waste my time with photos of an old pizza of some acquaintances? Most people don't tell what they care about anyways. Only 20% do. The rest of the folks on Facebook are just reading along (34%) or are even cynical about what their ‚friends' are posting (34%). And only 11% believe that people present themselves on Facebook in the way they really are.
Besides these facts that challenge the long-term dominance of this social network there are three other reasons why I believe that Facebook has passed its own best: First there is "channel overload". I define channel overload as a perception of overload that sets in when the broad spectrum of digital channels that require our attention become rampant. At some point the whole thing collapses and people drop out of one or the other platform. Second, I think that people will get more and more upset with the poor protection of their privacy on Facebook. The German credit-rating agency Schufa has announced, for example, that they want to use Facebook data to add to their understanding of peoples' credit-worthiness. If Facebook allows for this kind of activity on the basis of their user data, then users' fun will soon drop. And finally there is this interesting phenomenon of psychology of ownership. We clearly find it among some 30% of Facebook users. Those who perceive psychology of ownership identify strongly with their personal profile, perceive their information as personal property and feel at home on the platform. But as with so many acquisitions: At some point one needs a change!
(Sarah Spiekermann, derStandard.at, 20.8.2012)