Michael K. Spencer
That time Facebook made it harder to quit mobile addiction.
The #DeleteFacebook hashtag never really died. It’s become an attractive scenario for anyone brave enough to deal with mobile addiction. In fact, we’re deleting the app and deleting our accounts at such a pace, Facebook is fighting back! Yes, you heard me right.
Facebook is now making users wait twice as long to delete their accounts
So you finally realized your life would be better without Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, until you realize something odd. It’s harder than ever to quit, because now Facebook makes saying goodbye a long-drawn out affair. Of course, Facebook doesn’t want you (their product) to leave.
In a shocking and bizarre move to the product and customer experience it now takes a full month to delete your Facebook account — twice as long as before. That’s not exactly free will or the right to say no and breakup with an app that you may have spent way too much time on in your life.
Facebook Thinks we Should have a “Grace” Period
Facebook thinks it should over-ride our decision by making us wait longer. Facebook really understands trust and consumers it seems. When a user tries to delete their account, it makes them wait for a “grace period” before it is actually deleted.
Facebook must seriously be losing a lot of users in 2018 to pull this stunt. Where’s the strategy, bro? The change comes after months of scandals and PR crises for Facebook, including Cambridge Analytica and the recent hack of 50 million people. That we should delete Facebook’s apps has never been clearer to people under 45.
Facebook thought it could be the gateway to the world and help the world feel closer together; instead it made us the product, harvested our data and sold it to the highest bidder, not to mention scamming brands out of $millions of dollars each year. I may not even exist any more on Facebook but their targeting data on me still does — think about what that means for a while.
Facebook even shared user data with Chinese companies. Facebook handed over “deep access” to user data to 60 other tech companies. Facebook’s laundry list of privacy invasion is downright criminal, and not only should Mark Zuckerberg not be its CEO, he should be held accountable.
Listen, if a data breach of 50 million could cost Facebook $1.6 Billion in fines by the EU, how much should it pay the average user for its crimes in the long run? Facebook’s already breaking the law with breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union.
A One-Month Wait to Delete Facebook is Worse than Censorship
So now we are prisoners online it would seem, according to Facebook. Thinking of deleting your Facebook account? Not so fast. Sorry, my friends, it now will take an entire month, up from 14 days before. Even if you delete your account, don’t expect Facebook to put your data in the trash bin. That’s impossible.
Facebook’s trust dilemma is so epic the stock could decline further even as pundits say it’s alright. Just wait until we find how many users leave Facebook’s flagship app by 2020. It’s going to be pretty epic. The change to the deletion time was first noticed by The Verge.
Amazon gives me speed and convenience, and Facebook gives me fraud and imprisonment. Good luck competing in the future of Advertising, Facebook. This is the sort of thing that will make users revive the #deletefacebook campaign, and it certainly makes me upset.
- When a user decides to delete their Facebook account, it doesn’t actually get deleted straight away. Instead, there’s a “grace period,” in which the account remains inactive but accessible — just in case the user gets cold feet and decides to stay on Facebook after all.
- Aw, yeah, I really can’t quit, just one more thumb scroll of my legacy feed where nobody I know is active anymore.
Facebook thinks being nostalgic is cool as, historically, that grace period has been 14 days, or two weeks. I bet Mark is nostalgic for the good old days but major failures in leadership, strategy and pivoting have led Facebook into a dead-end path. When the vanity of having billions of users retreats into the past, Facebook doesn’t have a product, because the product has always been you and your data!
Silicon Valley doesn’t take the regulation of AI seriously (because it’s too expensive) and Facebook and YouTube are prime examples of this. When the talent exodus starts like it has for Facebook and Snapchat, it’s pretty serious. There’s no saving a sinking ship that makes it harder to leave.
Don’t be afraid we all have to move on. It’s best to terminate now if you want your data deleted. It’s time to do the unthinkable to lead a higher quality life:
- Delete Facebook
- Delete Messenger
- Delete Instagram
- Delete WhatsApp
Facebook was once a candy treat of the digital dopamine variety for human connection. That era is long gone.
Of course, a longer grace period is also to Facebook’s advantage as it mindf8cks us into thinking it’s still relevant. Twitter is nostalgia, Facebook is just dumb.
If your value is tied to massive numbers of users and those users are leaving you; you have nowhere to go but down. Instagram isn’t no YouTube and WhatsApp isn’t any WeChat. If only they had had the sense to change their CEO, things could have been different. But all good things must come to an end, even the app of many regrets.