How important is Facebook to you? Or a better question: How much do you value the social network?
It's no secret that Facebook has had a rough 12 months, with privacy issue after privacy issue. But even so, it can be difficult to walk away from - and that was fairly-well confirmed by a recent study.
The study involved a group of researchers who worked to determine just how much Facebook is worth to individual users. Their mission was to find out how much it would take to convince people to quit the free service for up to a year. And even with all the recent concerns that have been raised, it will take a bit of money to get some people to shut it down.
It'll take cash to convince people to leave Facebook
A paper recently published in the journal PLOS One combined two studies involving four researchers from different colleges. Usually, these researchers study what people would be willing to pay for products that actually cost money. For instance, if a store continues to raise the price of your favorite snack, at what point do you decide it's no longer worth the cost?
This is different because Facebook doesn't cost anything, so the study was conducted in reverse. Instead of asking how much would you pay to continue using Facebook, they asked how much money you would need in order to quit the network.
They created three auctions where participants would be paid to close or suspend their accounts for a day, or as long as a year. There's a lot of data, but in a nutshell:
- Auction 1: This involved 122 college students, and the average bid to quit Facebook for a day was $4.17 and up to $37 for a week. They used that data to calculate a one-year estimate, which ranged from $1,511 to $1,908.
- Auction 2: This was a mix of about 175 students and adults. Combined, the average bid to quit for a year was $1,139 but much higher for the students only at $2.076.
- Auction 3: Nearly 1,000 adults, where the average bid to shut Facebook down for a year comes to $1,921.
So basically, the study found that it would take more than $1,000 to convince one of these users to walk away for a year. And some people in this study really did quit and get paid, so it's not all hypothetical.
Closing your Facebook account for free
This isn't related to the study, but for others concerned with the social media giant's recent troubles, you might take some time to determine what it's worth to stick with Facebook. You may not be compensated for quitting, but it could save you some trouble down the road.
If you're ready to deactivate (which can just be temporary) or even close your account altogether, go to your general account settings, click on Manage Account and you'll find options. Click or tap on the following link to learn more: How to take a break from Facebook.
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