Tom Webster, writing and speaking

Facebook Quitters

Added on by Tom Webster.

Today, I was pleased to be able to share some brand new data from Edison Research and Triton Digital about teens and Facebook on my friend Jay Baer's blog, Convince and Convert. The post, New Data Demonstrates Teens are not Abandoning Facebook, offers some brand new research that suggests not only that teens are not abandoning the service in droves, but that their frequency of usage might, in fact, be increasing.

But there is one more stat I wanted to share here--maybe the money stat for this question. This didn't make it in time for the Convince and Convert article, so here, for the first time, we can show you the percentage of teens who say that they used to have Facebook profiles, but no longer do:

Now, let's consider what this graph is telling us. First of all, we asked Americans 12+ if they currently have a profile on Facebook and 58% of them said yes--including 79% of teens. But we also asked them if they have ever had a profile on the service. What we found out is that 4% of the population said that they once had a Facebook profile, but no longer currently have one. For teens, that number is 5%.

Let's unpack this graph a bit, because it's a complex thought. First of all, 5% is one percentage point higher than the total population, but that is hardly a significant difference. So the number of "quitters" isn't dramatically higher with teens than with anybody else.

Second, consider that the percentage of teens with current Facebook profiles is 79%--this is not a small number. What that 5% looks like in the face of nearly 80% usage is not abandonment, but churn. You cannot make assumptions about Facebook quitters unless you also consider Facebook joiners, and as I pointed out in Jay's article, someone turns 13 every minute.

Finally, let's look at the ratio of quitters to members, as mentioned in the headline of the graph above. If 58% of Americans 12+ have current profiles, and 4% used to but no longer have profiles, that's a total of 62% of Americans who have ever had a profile. 4% divided by 62% equals a little over 6%--In other words, 6% of Americans 12+ have "quit" on Facebook. For teens, that number is 5% (quitters) divided by 84% (the percentage who have ever had a profile), or a hair under 6%.

In other words, the ratio of quitters to members is actually just slightly lower for teens than it is for the general population.

And now you know.