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Are Facebook users still loyal to the site?

Smiling Women

Facebook has been embroiled in one of its biggest scandals since it was founded in 2004.

Last month, the social media giant admitted that 87 million users had had their data improperly shared with the UK-based firm Cambridge Analytica through a quiz connected to the site, BBC News reports.

Since then, the company has faced increasing pressure from shareholders, regulators, and privacy advocates. But what about the users? How do they feel about the site? #DeleteFacebook was trending on Twitter and people started to question the data they shared with the site. Has this data breach been enough to put people off from heading to Facebook? A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll suggests not…

The online poll suggests that, so far, the only affect of the data scandal is a PR headache, Reuters noted. When questioned about their Facebook use, half of the respondents revealed they had not recently changed how much they use the site, while another quarter actually admitted an increase in the time spent on the social media platform.

The remaining quarter revealed they were using it less recently, had stopped using it or deleted their account. This means that there was no clear net loss or gain in use of Facebook, something which might come as a big surprise to many who have been closely following Facebook since the scandal first came to light.

When it comes to daily Facebook users, 64% of adults said they use Facebook at least once a day, a slight reduction from the 68% in a similar poll conducted in late March.

Interestingly, there is a greater understanding of privacy settings and safeguarding personal information on Facebook than on other social media platforms, such as Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

Amongst Facebook users, 74% are aware of their current privacy settings and 78% know how to change them. In comparison, 60% of Instagram users know their current privacy settings and 65% know how to change them, while 55% of Twitter users know their privacy settings and 58% know how to use them.

While they may understand Facebook’s privacy settings, less than a quarter (23%) of its users feel they have “total control” over the information they share on the platform. Nearly half (49%) said they have “some control”, 20% feel they have “no control”, and 9% don’t know how much control they have.

The researchers noted that the survey was limited to US and they are waiting to see the performance of sales in the second quarter, as this was when the scandal was at its height.

The survey questioned 2,194 American adults, including 1,938 Facebook users, 1,167 Twitter users, and 1,237 Instagram users, between 26 and 30 April and has a margin of error of three percentage points.

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