Searches for information on the deletion of Facebook profiles have reportedly dropped, as users lose interest in the changes in privacy settings.
Blogger Nick O'Neill, writing on the allfacebook.com website, asked if it was time to ‘officially declare the Facebook privacy fiasco over?' Searches on how to delete Facebook profiles hit high points in Google Trends last month, but the levels of searches have now dropped to pre-privacy fiasco levels.
O'Neill said: “Facebook has officially failed to back down on their ‘instant personalisation' program and it appears that users definitely don't really care all that much. While the measure of people searching for 'how do I delete my Facebook account' may not be the most accurate representation of users' thoughts on Facebook privacy, it's definitely a good measure of how users are responding to new Facebook activities.”
The quit Facebook day ‘event' failed to have a major impact in the end, with a rumoured number of 30,000 users deleting the accounts, small change out of 400 million registered users of the social networking site.
O'Neill said: “While I still strongly believe that Facebook's ‘instant personalisation' program has crossed many boundaries with users, the reality is that Facebook users are tired of hearing about the issue. Additionally, the information revealed about most users through the program are not really that significant. With fewer users actively deleting their accounts, Facebook can continue their race toward 500 million users.”
The build-up to the change in privacy settings was certainly an interesting one, as it heightened awareness of data privacy and encouraged users to realise and take an interest in how their personal information was being used. I still suspect that many users have not changed their settings, partly because more ‘casual' users will not consider privacy settings, while more frequent users should have taken action.
Either way, it could be argued that this is the end of what has been an interesting, and yet wholly miserable, 18 months for Facebook.