Tag Archives: Social Media

Facebook to Desktop – Get Smart or Get Blitzed? (TUPdate)

This week, Facebook announced their plans to defeat Ad Blocking software for its members using Desktops.

Users vote with their fingertips and clicks, and may allow themselves to be herded towards Facebook’s more-lucrative Smartphone platform, will tolerate more ads they’ve actively chosen to avoid, will migrate to other Social Networks, or may simply lose interest and wither away.1608 fb migration 2016-08-10_8-34-34

Is Facebook’s gamble really going to affect much of a market? How many Facebook users still use their desktops? How attractive are these users? There’s more to these users than many people might think.

In our most recently publicly-released research, Technology User Profile 2015, we reported that nearly as many Facebook users primarily use their PCs as their Smartphones for Social Networking. Over 67 million American adults primarily use their PCs for Facebook Social Networking, outnumbering the 63 million who primarily use their Smartphones.

Furthermore, Facebook users who use their Desktop PCs spend more on technology products and service than the average American Connected Adult, 5% more, which is slightly higher than the 4% more than those users preferring Smartphones for Social Networking.

Ad Blocking on PCs among those primarily using PCs for Social Networking is much higher than among those blocking ads on their Smartphones and using Smartphones for Social Networking, at 33% and 13%, respectively. However, that camel’s nose is well under the tent, as users that block ads on any of their devices is nearly on par among Facebook’s PC and Smartphone users. Forty-one percent of Facebook’s users who primarily use a PC use an Ad Blocker on at least one of their devices, only slightly more than the 37% of Facebook’s users who primarily use their Smartphone for Social Networking.

Ad Blocking is a controversial topic among users, the media, and advertisers. As we reported earlier in our TUPdate Look Who’s Using Adblockers , users with ad blocking software are an attractive market segment, spending more on technology than those who don’t.

As part of Facebook’s move, they offer users the option to customize their ad preferences. Although this may encourage users to further control their experience, we expect that convenience-oriented users will choose other options first.

At the end of the day, users make their choices. Without engaged active users, no social network is going to continue. Although many media outlets and advertisers will rally around Facebook or anyone willing to take on ad blocking technology or user’s resistance to advertising, it is a calculated gamble. Facebook may win more advertisers and allies, may alienate a substantial number of their users, or may help bring around consumer sentiment to accept more advertising.


This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary from a special MetaFacts Profile report – Look Who’s Using AdBlockers – a Profile of Technology Users throughout the US, UK, France, Brazil, and China. The results are based on a multi-country survey of over 10,000 representative respondents conducted by MetaFacts. The report spans 125 pages including supporting tables, and is available for license. Current TUP subscribers can obtain the report and supporting datasets at a substantial discount. To license the full report, contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Consumer research, Desktops, Market Research, Notebooks, Smartphones, Social Networking, Tablets, TUP 2015, TUPdate

23.5 million online Americans age 18-34 don’t use a social network. 6.8 million cite privacy concerns. Reported in MetaFacts TUP survey

Is privacy a big concern among younger non-social networkers?

A MetaFacts TUPdate by Dan Ness, MetaFacts Principal Analyst

Privacy concerns are a strong deterrent to future Facebook growth, even among the age 18-34 segment.

The younger adult segment has a high penetration rate, with 63% regularly using a social networking site. While the maximum likely penetration rate is the subject of other MetaFacts saturation rate research, continued penetration only becomes more and more difficult from such a high base.

Of the 23.5 million Americans age 18-34 not networked, 29% agree or strongly agree with the statement: “I do not use a community/social networking group because I am concerned about my privacy”.

Agreement is even stronger among older adults.Chart: Privacy concern by age group

Recent news about the compromised security of private information is likely to further increase pervasive privacy concerns. When even highly-guarded information of governments and corporations is released publicly through organizations such as WikiLeaks, consumer trust can be further shaken in the effectiveness of the privacy controls of social networks.

At the same time, the FTC’s Do-Not-Track proposal offers a governmental approach to supporting and rebuilding consumer trust online. Although considered heavy-handed by many advertisers, it reflects a percolating problem already evident by the use of adblockers, spam controls, and very low click rates.

With nearly 30 years of watching and surveying technology consumers, answers to an attitudinal agreement scale questions don’t tell the whole story. Many American consumers are fickle and have short memories. Still, the answers are very high among an otherwise technically-active and accepting segment. Fear of the unknown can outweigh the desire for connection, entertainment and other benefits enjoyed by current social networkers.

Social networking sites Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and others already have plenty of challenges retaining the interest and patronage of their current members. With privacy and other concerns being expressed so strongly even among generally open younger Americans, MetaFacts expects the dampening effect to continue for years. Both those already networked and those not yet connected are thinking twice about their choice of “friends.”


MetaFacts Technology User Profile Overview Edition – report available by contacting MetaFacts. View findings in 25 pages of executive summary analysis, 200+ pages of charts and graphs, all supported by 95+ pages of detailed tables. The complete, 300+ page report is delivered to you electronically or as hard copy. This edition is for the U.S. based on the 2010 wave of Technology User Profile gathered among a scrupulously selected set of representative respondents, surveyed both online and offline.

To see other research coverage of communication products and activities – from smartphones to feature phones, desktops to notebooks, social networking, chat, and webcams – see the other communication-oriented questions TUP covers on www.technologyuser.com.

About TUPdates

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Smartphones, Netbooks, Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Moms and Dads, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology industry trends and facts. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption around the world. Interested technology professionals can sign up at http://technologyuser.com/contact/ for complimentary TUPdates – periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are a primary market sizing and segmentation resource for leading companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, software applications, peripherals, consumer electronics, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information about the syndicated research service, analysis tools, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts or call 1-760-635-4300.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, Mobile Phones, Poll, Technology User Overview Report, TUP 2010, TUPdate