clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

More than a quarter of Americans say they’ve deleted the Facebook app from their phones

Almost half of 18- to 29-year-olds claim to have joined the #DeleteFacebook movement.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg looking at his cellphone.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Drew Angerer / Getty
Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

Let’s just say Americans’ relationship with Facebook is increasingly complicated.

More than a quarter of U.S. Facebook users say they have deleted the app from their phones over the past year, according to a poll this summer by the Pew Research Center. A greater percentage, 42 percent, say they have taken a break from checking Facebook for several weeks or more. And 54 percent say they’ve adjusted their privacy settings over the past year.

This is happening as a sort of backlash rises against social media: The idea that it’s a bad use of time, that the companies don’t take user privacy seriously enough (notably Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica debacle) and that Facebook, in particular, is too powerful.

More young Facebook users say they deleted the app than older users: Some 44 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds say they deleted the Facebook app over the past year, versus 12 percent of users ages 65 and up.

Or so they say. But either way, it doesn’t seem to have had a dramatic effect on Facebook’s audience size: Facebook’s daily active user base in the U.S. and Canada has been stuck at about 185 million for four straight quarters, and its slowing growth curve has been pretty smooth. Perhaps users are deleting the app and then reinstalling? Or people are leaving and joining Facebook at the same rate? Or some are just posturing for a poll?

The survey was conducted among 4,594 U.S. adults from May 29 to June 11, 2018.

This article originally appeared on