Either people are getting more serious about keeping their personal information offline, or the excitement of social media mania is starting to decline with the masses. Whatever the reason, people are sharing fewer and fewer personal updates on Facebook. This is a serious problem for the world’s largest social network which has built a billion dollar business on the petabytes of personal data that people willingly feed it.
Although Facebook reports that people are still sharing a lot of information through the social giant, less and less of it is personal content and more and more is re-posted news, videos and images.
From 2014 into 2015, the amount of overall information that people shared on Facebook dropped by about 5.5 percent. However, the amount of personal posts that people shared on Facebook plummeted by 21 percent during the same time. That means less stories about people’s lives, activities and thoughts that Facebook can collect, analyze and profit from. So far this year, the sharing of personal details on Facebook has dropped by 15 percent from 2015.
Since Facebook started and grew thanks to people who were willing to share their personal lives through the social platform, this drop in personal sharing is a major cause for concern at Facebook’s headquarters. Facebook has reportedly even created a corporate team whose job it is to figure out how to get people to increase the amount of personal details that they share on the site.
Some of the changes that Facebook has made to promote increased personal sharing on the site include making people’s personal posts more visible in news feeds as well as making it simpler to share their own personal stories. These changes have reportedly helped slow the decline, but the downward trend in personal sharing on Facebook still continues.
There are some major changes that have happened online since Facebook’s rise to social media prominence that could have caused the drop in sharing on the site. There are numerous social networking sites and apps now that are competing for people’s attention. Although Facebook now owns Instagram and WhatsApp, other popular social services like SnapChat, Twitter, Periscope, Pinterest, Linkedin and others eat into Facebook’s popularity.
In addition, Facebook’s massive growth has likely caused it to loose the intimate community feel that it had in its early days which made people feel comfortable posting their personal details on the site. You also have Facebook’s constant public relations blunders over privacy issues and their personal data collection practices that give people pause about sharing more information on the site.
There is also the likelihood that social media fatigue is starting to set in for a large number of people who may be getting burned out with their online social lives.
Although Facebook is still growing and there are still a large number of people who use the site daily, the drop in personal posts, stories and sharing could be a warning sign that things are waning for the company whose stated mission is to connect the world. After all, Facebook can’t market products and services to consumers if they don’t know much about the people they are targeting.