Survey Reveals Dramatic Decline in Trust of Facebook Due to Privacy Policy Changes; Marketers and Consumers Say They May Reduce Use

Share Article

Amidst media criticism and outrage in the social media marketing communities, MarketingProfs sought to uncover the real impacts likely to result from Facebook’s recent decision to once again change its privacy policy. Results show a tangible loss in trust which may lead up to 25% of users to curtail or drop Facebook use.

“Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg in his op-ed in The Washington Post and on CNN is talking about how new settings will fix the privacy policy problem,” says Young. “Our poll indicates that it’s going to take effort to win back the trust of consumers..."

A new poll by MarketingProfs shows that trust in Facebook as a company has been shaken as a result of privacy policy changes. Nearly 40% of consumers and 30% of marketers “have lost trust in Facebook as a company” and 47% of marketers and 42% of consumers agree that they “have lost trust in Facebook’s use information about me in a responsible way.” And this loss in trust may lead up to one quarter to curtail or drop Facebook use.

“Facebook’s recent decision to change its privacy policy has rocked the trust of both consumers and marketers who have used the social network platform,” said MarketingProfs President, Roy Young. “While both groups are in the process of deciding what, if any, changes they will make in their use of Facebook, continued privacy concerns may threaten Facebook’s long-term growth.”

The MarketingProfs survey shows that 83% of professional marketers were aware of the recent, highly publicized changes to Facebook’s privacy policy, compared to 63% of consumers. Among both consumers and marketers, 70% expressed concern over the impact Facebook’s privacy policy changes might have for their own use, with nearly a third of marketers and one- quarter of consumers saying they are “very concerned.”

The MarketingProfs data shows that 28% of consumers and 22% of marketers expect to reduce their use of Facebook as a result of the controversial changes to Facebook’s privacy policy.

“Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg in his op-ed in The Washington Post and on CNN is talking about how new settings will fix the privacy policy problem,” says Young. “But our poll indicates that it’s going to take effort to win back the trust of consumers and marketers. They’re going to want to see real change and more privacy protection.”

The MarketingProfs survey looks at both consumers who have adopted the social network platform for personal conversation as well as marketers who use the social network to enhance marketing communications programs for companies worldwide. MarketingProfs surveyed a sample of its membership of professional marketers and a consumer panel representing the general population with Facebook profiles. The survey was conducted from May 18 to May 21 via the Web. To view more survey details...

Survey Highlights:

1. The majority of consumers and marketers with Facebook profiles are likely aware of Facebook’s recent change in privacy policy. Though on average, marketers are 20% more likely than consumers to be aware of these changes (83% of marketers vs. 63% of consumers report privacy policy awareness).

2. Of those who are aware of the privacy policy changes, 7 in 10 of both consumers and marketers expressed concern.
a. Among consumers aware of the changes, a fourth (24%) report they are “very concerned” and almost another half (45%) report they are “somewhat concerned.”
b. Marketers aware of the changes are slightly more concerned than the consumers on average: 3 in 10 (29%) report they are “very concerned” and 4 in 10 (41%) are “somewhat concerned.”

3. Trust in Facebook has been shaken among both consumers and marketers as a result of the policy change.
a. Of those aware of the privacy change, over a third of consumers (36%) and 3 in 10 marketers (30%) agree that they “have lost trust in Facebook as a company.”
b. And both consumers and marketers aware of the change are even more likely to agree that they “have lost trust in Facebook’s use of their information” (42% of consumers and 47% of marketers).

4. When those aware of the policy changes were prompted to say whether they agree or disagree that as a result of Facebook’s changes in privacy policy that they “will reduce their use of Facebook as a result of the changes in privacy policy,” 28% of consumers agree and 22% of marketers agree with the statement.

5. Yet when asked in general about change in usage over the next three months, the level of use for business and personal communications is expected to increase among all users (not just those aware of the policy change)
a. Both consumers and marketers are significantly more likely to report that they expect their usage of Facebook to increase rather than decrease over the next three months (24% vs. 11%).
b. Consumers are 3 times as likely to say their usage will increase rather than decrease, and marketers are 2 times as likely to say their usage will increase than decrease (20% vs. 6%).
c. Note, while this appears to indicate growth in use will continue regardless of the change in policy, we don’t have a comparable measure before the change was announced, so this might actually be a decline from what consumers and marketers would have reported before the privacy change.

About MarketingProfs:

MarketingProfs is a rich and trusted resource that offers actionable know-how on the marketing applications of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools along with coverage of more traditional marketing topics, such as lead generation and email marketing. MarketingProfs is devoted to helping business professionals market products and services smarter. Entrepreneurs, small-business owners and marketers in the world's largest corporations make up our more than 350,000 members. Our library of more than 3,000 articles, online seminars, conferences, discussion forum, and special reports deliver the tools, templates, and tactics you need to quickly turn even the toughest marketing challenge into your own marketing success story.

In addition to this survey on the affects of Facebook’s privacy policy changes on consumers and marketers, MarketingProfs has also conducted benchmark surveys on the Marketing for the Recent Economic Crisis, The State of Social Media Marketing, E-Mail Marketing, Marketing to Hispanics, Search Engine Marketing, and Sales and Marketing Alignment.

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Penny Fiederlein
Visit website