Results of Pew Research Center's latest social media study fail to tally with Facebook's own user statistics.
The Pew Research Center study of over 1,000 U.S. Facebook users discovered that 61% of respondents have taken a holiday from the site for a period of two weeks or more and that 34% of users admitted to spending less time on the site because it had become less important to them in recent months. However, when the results are compared with Facebook's own official usage figures for the year there is no clear evidence that users are indeed taking a break.
The number of active monthly Facebook users who are also active daily users increased across all geographical regions throughout 2012. The official figures, published by the social media site to accompany its quarterly earnings report, show that it had 1.05 billion monthly active users (MAUs) at the end of December 2012, up from 901 million users in the first quarter of 2012, of which 618 million were also daily active users (DAUs), meaning that 59% of MAUs are also DAUs.
With 193 million MAUs and 135 million DAUs, an above average 69.95% of U.S. and Canadian monthly users are also daily users, a very slight rise from 69.84% in Q3 2012. In other words, there are no signs that daily or monthly use is dropping, in fact the opposite is happening. However, one of the Pew Research Center's findings, that visits to the site are becoming shorter, cannot be verified. Facebook has stopped publishing details about average time spent on the site.
The Pew study also revealed that while Facebook continues to be the most popular social media platform in the U.S., 28% of users intend to take a holiday from the site over the coming year. However, the majority of users (59%) said Facebook is as important to them today as it was a year ago, and 69% said they plan to spend the same amount of time on the site this year as in the past.