Facebook Deactivations Gaining Attention - InformationWeek

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Facebook Deactivations Gaining Attention

The phrase "how to quit Facebook" generated nearly 17 million results in a recent Google search, and prominent tech industry figures are ditching their accounts on the social networking site.

Whether they are driven by privacy concerns or fed-up with the amount of time they spend updating their accounts, apparently Facebook users are increasingly curious about the social networking site's farewell policies.

The phrase "how to quit Facebook" generated 16.9 million results in a Google search Tuesday morning, while "how do I delete my Facebook account?" resulted in 15.9 million links.

Some well-known industry names have made much-publicized cuts to their Facebook ties. Google's webspam chief Matt Cutts deactivated his Facebook ties on April 22, according to comments he made on Twitter. "I just deactivated my Facebook account using the guide [here]. Not hard to do & you can still revive it later," he wrote. "It was really useful. I wasn't expecting the FB guilt trip + dynamic "don't go" box + password request + captcha though."

Peter Rojas, Gizmodo and Engadget founder, and co-founder of technology blog gdgt tweeted about his decision to cut his Facebook ties. "I was spending more time managing my account than actually using my account," he toldABCNews.com. "Having to constantly monitor the privacy settings was way too complicated. You can never be sure if you actually caught everything."

Facebook offers users two options: Deactivate or delete. With deactivation -- found under Account Settings -- accounts are frozen and profile information is no longer available on Facebook but the site saves the information in case the user wishes to return to the social networking site.

Deactivated users do not show up on community pages, and tagged photographs are de-tagged. In addition, status updates from the user's page are taken down and names on friends' walls are no longer clickable. Users can keep their accounts deactivated for an unlimited amount of time, according to Facebook.

"We preserve the account in its entirety. People often deactivate for temporary reasons and expect their content and information to be there for them when they return," a Facebook spokesman said in a statement to ABCNews.com.

Those looking to completely end their relationship with Facebook can opt to delete their accounts by visiting the Help Center and searching for "delete account." To prevent spur-of-the-moment break-ups, Facebook then waits 14 days to delete the account. Copies of some materials may be kept for "technical reasons," according to Facebook.

"Because deletion is irreversible, this allows people who mistakenly submitted a request to let us know so we can cancel it," the Facebook spokesman told ABCNews.com.

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User Rank: Apprentice
10/26/2012 | 9:37:06 PM
re: Facebook Deactivations Gaining Attention
I'm not what you'd describe as a 'follower' of Mat Cutts but I read many of his on-line comments. To hear his comments that 16 million businesses are seeking to quit Facebook is quite curious. As someone who quite Google because of the constant (almost daily) need for one-upmanship research on rival firms who constantly monitored my sites and altered their own to get higher ranking by analysing what I did and the knowledge that less than a dozen organic sites at any one time will get user Gǣfirst interestGǥ from a search phrase or words... My experience is exactly the opposite to Matt Cutts.

16 million is an attractive figure. Interestingly I can generate an impressive 9 million results from a Google search Gǣhow to quit Gmail... Google's own Email facility they seemingly like to keep clients attached to. Had I remained attempting to keep the primary sites I manage on the first page of Google's search results, by now I'd either be spending $1000 plus per week per dedicated SEO staffers or have been actively going out to meet my clients, clients rather than use the hit and miss method Google affectionately call "organic search".

I best describe my business as 'small'. Employing less than 10 staff. Having a turnover under one million per year... Sound familiar? It should. It's a description of the average small business in Australia.

Watching how I managed to get under the radar of my rivals is a lesson in inventive marketing I learned from a Jewish mentor I once sold petrol to on Sunday mornings as I worked my way through college. He came on Sundays because we offered a GǣSunday discountGǥ.

I can understand why Google would seek to highlight Facebook users trying to discover how to get out. Roughly the same percentage of Gǣout seekersGǥ as Gmail has I'd imagine. It would all stop if every on-line firm who required membership before commenting gave their users a simple Gǣout buttonGǥ... But then that would lower their membership numbers and ultimately the value of their business, wouldn't it?
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