Why The Uprising Against Facebook Flopped

Put away your pitchforks and torches. It appears the uprising against Facebook has fizzled.

After The New York Times dissected Facebook’s convoluted privacy settings and then touted a rival, a backlash against the social networking giant started brewing across the web.

Facebook responded (fairly clumsily and eventually) with some new privacy settings but still has a probe pending from the U.S. Congress and other folks who have just opened their eyes to the fact that there is a website out there sitting on 400 million users’ personal data.

That data is, of course, a gold mine for Facebook and its advertisers. But bring up that fact and everyone starts to get a little squeamish. Which is why some users started “Quit Facebook Day“, a movement that on March 31 would climax with millions of people walking away from the tyranny of Facebook.

So, what happened on March 31?

Not too much. Quit Facebook Day’s website says just over 36,000 people committed to the cause, while a poll on Mashable showed 63 percent of readers against the idea.

Why no traction for the fight against Facebook?

Quite simply, people have too much invested in the site to walk away. While quitting Twitter or ignoring your MySpace are easy enough, Facebook’s ability for you to load up your stash of content and games makes the ties too strong.

If you walk away from Facebook  you may be abandoning hundreds of personal photos,  a Farmville gaming campaign you’ve been working on for months, or an easy directory of your contacts with their websites, phone numbers and daily activities.

Facebook has developed an environment which has become indispensable for most of its millions of users. There are going to be fringes of hard-core social networking types out there who explore and gravitate to other platforms, but for the majority of users who were part of Facebook’s big growth spurt in 2009, the site gives them all they want.

Now that the privacy has calmed down some, many users are still going to move along unaware of the debate. What they want out of Facebook they are getting out of Facebook. What Facebook gets out of them is out of sight and out of mind.

About Mike Koehler

Mike Koehler is the New Media Director for Schnake Turnbo Frank | PR, the largest and oldest public relations firm in Oklahoma. Mike consults with clients about the best use of tools on the Internet, Web strategy and social media policy. Mike blogs regularly at www.smirknewmedia.com and is working on his first book to be published in 2010. Mike lives in Oklahoma City with his wife and three kids.

You can find Mike on Twitter: @mkokc.

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