Is Facebook in Trouble?

Oct 17, 2021

I just crossed a major item off my bucket list…

I successfully hiked from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other: 27 miles. More than 7,000 feet in elevation gain. Four days.

This trip involved a lot of planning, tracking, and researching (and, yes, tweeting)!

After I crested the top of the canyon and stepped into satellite range, I naturally checked in on my social accounts.

And wouldn’t you know it… a “random” advertisement on my Instagram feed featured a backpacking blanket embossed with the design of the very canyon I just hiked out of.

These types of instances have become so commonplace that I wasn’t even shocked.

But still a little creeped out? Yeah.

And I’m not alone.

73% of U.S. internet users were more alarmed about their online privacy than they ever had been… in 2019.

LikeFolio data shows that this level of concern has only risen since then.

Privacy concern mentions have increased +24% since 2019, hovering near all-time highs.

One of the top areas of user concerns? How personal data is shared among businesses and social media.

For example, how did Instagram (owned by Facebook) know that I, specifically, would be very interested in a backpacking blanket repping my favorite national park?

These occurrences are probably why 80% of social media users are concerned about businesses accessing the information they share on social platforms.

The problem is, this is EXACTLY how social media platforms make money: by matching brands with the right consumers to increase sales conversions.

While privacy concerns are rising across the board, LikeFolio data shows that not all platforms are created equal.

I’ll give you three guesses to pick the social media company that consumers trust the least with their personal data, but I think you’ll only need one…

If you guessed Facebook, you’re right.

Not only is Facebook the top-mentioned brand alongside privacy concerns, but Facebook-owned Instagram is No. 2 on the list.

On the flip side, look who takes up the smallest piece of the privacy-concern pie: Pinterest (PINS).

This is great news for PINS. Pinterest’s entire platform is designed to connect brands with consumers…

And according to LikeFolio data, consumers are totally fine with it.

It’s important to keep an eye on this major consumer trend moving forward, especially as Facebook faces an uphill battle in the court of public opinion.

It’s also essential to monitor overall platform happiness levels, perhaps LikeFolio’s best long-term indicator of consumer brand health.

Do you see the theme emerging?

Again, Facebook finds itself in a precarious situation versus peers.

At least for now, Facebook continues to boast the largest user base of all social networks by a long shot. LikeFolio data highlighted this in depth a few weeks ago.

But Facebook’s ability to effectively match brands and consumers may degrade with increased regulation. The company is already seeing this unfold following updates to Apple’s iOS privacy policies.

Luckily, at LikeFolio, we monitor for large shifts in consumer behavior in real time.

Like, for instance, consumers tweeting about purchasing a blanket they saw on Instagram…

When these consumer macro trends evolve into actionable opportunities, LikeFolio members will be the first to know.

Megan Brantley
Head of Research, LikeFolio