More than 60 per cent of Facebook users have taken at least one voluntary break from the website for several weeks or more citing a lack of time, boring content and too much drama, according to a new research published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center.
While Facebook remains the most popular social networking site with more than two-thirds of American adult Internet users registered on it, the research shows that the number of active users fluctuates constantly.
The study sample of more than 1,000 adults living in the US found the main reasons for users taking “Facebook vacations” included being too busy, losing interest in the site, seeing it as a waste of time, too much drama among friends and concerns over spending too much time on the social network.
“These data show that people are trying to make new calibrations in their life to accommodate new social tools,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Project and co-author of the report.
“They are adding up the plusses and minuses on a kind of networking balance sheet and they are trying to figure out how much they get out of connectivity verses how much they put into it.”
The research also found that 20 per cent of those Internet users who currently do not have Facebook were at one time registered but decided to give up their accounts.
Facebook users are also losing interest in the site in general. While 59 per cent of active users said the site was as important to them as it was a year ago, 28 per cent said they were now less interested. Only 12 per cent of users reported being more interested in Facebook than during the same period last year.
Facebook had over 1 billion active monthly users in December 2012 worldwide, according to the company’s website.
A Facebook spokesman rebutted the study, saying growth and engagement in the social networking site remain strong.
“As we announced last week, Facebook has grown daily active users across all regions, ending the year with more than 1 billion monthly active users, 618 million daily active users and 680 million people accessing Facebook from mobile devices,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman also cited independent analyst reports that concluded Facebook is the most downloaded mobile app in the US, and that time spent on Facebook accounts for over 20 per cent of all time spent on mobile apps in the US.