Pew Research: U.S. Facebook users are deleting the app from mobile phones

Facebook's growth has slowed over the past few quarters, with 185 million global active users in the U.S. and Canada. (Pixabay)

Facebook may be at risk of losing some of its mobile dominance. According to a poll conducted by Pew Research Center earlier this summer, more than 25% of Facebook users have deleted the app from their mobile phones, while 42% of users aged 18-50 reported having reduced time spent on the app.

The poll was conducted between May 29 and June 11, just weeks after it was revealed that consulting firm Cambridge Analytica collected data from millions of Facebook users without their knowledge.

The backlash against Facebook has been more robust in the younger demographics. Among respondents aged 18-29, 44% reported deleting the Facebook app from their phone over the past year, while only 12% of users aged 65 and up did so. Younger users also adjusted their privacy settings on the app after the news broke about Cambridge Analytica, while only a third of users aged 65 and up did the same.

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Mobile devices drive huge amounts of usage on Facebook. Data from Statista indicates a whopping 95.1% of Facebook users access the platform on mobile devices. And mobile advertising is an important revenue-driver for the social network. As of the second quarter of 2018, mobile advertising represented 91% of Facebook’s advertising revenue.

But it’s unclear whether the backlash will eat into Facebook’s earnings. The network’s growth has slowed over the past few quarters, with 185 million global active users in the U.S. and Canada, but data from Goldman Sachs found that Facebook usage actually increased after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the app grew mobile users 7% in the U.S. during the debacle, according to a Business Insider report.

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