The official Quit Facebook Day was a big flop, leading to speculation from industry observers that the event may have suffered because nobody actually knew it was official Quit Facebook Day.
Facebook is suffering from a bit of an image problem these days thanks to its callous disregard for the privacy of its users. It doesn’t even pretend to care and while I find that sort of honesty refreshing, a lot of people – or at least a lot of the people who talk about these things on the internet – see it as a far more serious transgression. Thus, the stage was set for some grassroots backlash in the form of Quit Facebook Day, encouraging users to give up the world’s foremost social network in favor of “better” alternatives.
And like most grassroots movements, it tanked utterly. Less than 35,000 people “committed” to quitting on the Quit Facebook Day website, an impressive-sounding number until it’s compared to the estimated 500 million active Facebook accounts. That works out, according to my highly-fallible math skills (in other words, correct me if I’m wrong), to roughly .007 percent of all Facebook users. Or, as VentureBeat put it, for every one person that quit, 15,000 didn’t. In fact, if Facebook registrations ran at their usual pace, the people who quit would easily be outnumbered by new users who signed up on the same day.
I think it’s a good bet that part of the problem is this: Quickly and without looking, when was Quit Facebook Day? Let’s be honest here, you don’t have any idea. You probably didn’t even know there was such a thing at all. Don’t feel too bad about it, because neither did we. And it’s hard to attract people to your cause if you don’t make a point of telling them about it once in awhile.
There’s also the simple fact that people really like Facebook and probably wouldn’t quit anyway. Privacy is great, but give up FarmVille? Come on!