#DeleteFacebook may be gaining traction on Twitter, but it's unlikely to have much of an impact on Facebook's (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report all-important user growth numbers, according to analysts.
Users upset by the recent data scandal have been flocking to Twitter and other platforms to share their disapproval of the social media giant's security and privacy issues.
But Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that Facebook's integration into the public's everyday life makes it hard for users to quit.
"If you delete your account, you lose touch with a lot of people," Pachter said.
Facebook shares were trading down 1% to $163.19 on Friday afternoon. Shares have dropped about 12% this week following the revelations that more than 50 million users had their data improperly harvested by the political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytics. After several days of silence on the matter, CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally talked about what Facebook plans to do to improve its user data security on Wednesday.
The negative media attention may put some near-term pressure on Facebook's user and engagement growth, RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney wrote this week. But he expected the pressure to be short term as long as Facebook improved its public relations response, comparing it to Netflix's temporary user growth softness following news that it was hiking prices back in 2016.
In its fourth quarter earnings released at the end of January, Facebook reported a decline in North American daily active users of Facebook and Messenger, the first sequential decline since Facebook went public in 2012. Data from Nielsen also shows that Facebook's share of online time spent among U.S. adults gradually fell in 2017.
However, Piper Jaffray analyst Sam Kemp wrote in a note on March 21 that domestic users won't be leaving Facebook because of this breach, simply because U.S. citizens care much less than others about non-financial personal data being shared and used to target them.
"Facebook users are already under the clear understanding that data is used to target them and, while this data extraction illustrates weak points in Facebook's historical security, we do not see this as a reason users will change their social habits," Kemp wrote.
While the hashtag #DeleteFacebook has gotten a lot of attention on Twitter, Kemp wrote that the overall search volume for the phrase appeared to be insignificant according to Google Trends data. Kemp call the coverage of it "basically fake news."