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Australians losing enthusiasm for Facebook, report says

In the grand scheme of things, Facebook isn’t doing so bad in terms of user numbers: over 950 million active monthly users, 552 million daily users and 543 million on mobile. Pretty good for a company that only started up eight years ago.

Information in a report by global market research firm Ipsos, however, suggests that a good many Australian users are beginning to grow weary of the social networking site.

The six-monthly report examines the opinions and feelings of those living in the country, covering issues such as employment, health and leisure.

According to The Age, which obtained a copy of the report prior to publication, a growing number of Facebook users are losing their enthusiasm for Facebook, blaming it for exacerbating “the culture of narcissism and self-absorption.”

Half of Australia’s 22 million citizens currently have a Facebook account.

The executive director of Ipsos Australia, Rebecca Huntley, said in the report that a clear trend had emerged demonstrating a more critical take on the social networking site.

“A key complaint amongst some was the culture of narcissism and self-absorption that appeared to be rife on Facebook,” the report said.

The report also said that many users were tired of the seemingly endless flow of status updates. Some wanted to ditch their account but only stayed because it was the easiest way to stay in touch with friends.

Many of those with Facebook accounts said they found posts to be “trivial or obsessively repetitive”, while a number of users were becoming increasingly concerned about the apparent blurring of the boundaries between what’s public and what’s private – the issue of employers using the social networking site to see what their workers were up to in their private time was cited.

It wasn’t all bad, however, with some users saying how it had helped them during disputes with companies over the quality of service or some such issue. Others said it had helped them to build and publicize their own business.

Do you think Australian Facebook users have a point when it comes to their gripes about the world’s biggest social networking site? Do you still maintain the enthusiasm you had for the site when you first joined?