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Study: Most Users Have Taken a Break from Facebook

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A new study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds signs of “Facebook fatigue.” A growing number of users have scaled back their use of the social network, and one in five have stopped using the site altogether.

Jenna Wortham with The New York Times wrote, “Facebook is the most popular social network in America — roughly two-thirds of adults in the country use it on a regular basis. But that doesn’t mean they don’t get sick of it. A new study released on Tuesday by the Pew Research Center‘s Internet and American Life Project found that 61 percent of current Facebook users admitted that they had voluntarily taken breaks from the site, for as many as several weeks at a time.”

According to Pew, “20% of the online adults who do not currently use Facebook say they once used the site but no longer do so.”

PCMag’s Stephanie Mlot observed, “Like the worn-out toy tossed aside to make room for shinier playthings, Facebook seems to be losing its luster among users, 28 percent of whom said the site has become less important to them than it was a year ago. Almost 35 percent admit that the amount of time they spend on the social network has decreased since the year before. About 42 percent of those users ages 18-29 — often considered the prime social-networking target — said their time spent on the site in a typical day has decreased; 34 percent of those 30-49 years old agreed.”

But taking a break from Facebook may soon get harder. Bloomberg’s Douglas MacMillan reported, “Facebook Inc. (FB) is developing a smartphone application that will track the location of users, two people with knowledge of the matter said, bolstering efforts to benefit from growing use of social media on mobile computers. The app, scheduled for release by mid-March, is designed to help users find nearby friends and would run even when the program isn’t open on a handset, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.”

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