Facebook utilization and popularity is waning

The Pew Research Center published a new report that suggests Facebook tiredness may be setting in with some users, and that the social site appears to be waning and dropping in popularity.

No less than 27.2 percent of Facebook users surveyed in the United States plan to spend less time on the site this year, compared with only three percent who plan to spend more time, according to the research firm.

And another 69 percent of Facebook users say they plan to spend the same amount of time on the site in 2013. The Pew study also reveals that 61.4 percent of Facebook users have taken a break from the service for several weeks or more.

But during these breaks, the vast majority of Facebook vacationers don’t delete their profiles, they simply don’t visit it during that sabbatical.

Facebook boasts that it has more than a billion active users. Pew found that about 68 percent of American adults who are online use Facebook every now and then.

The reasons people gave for taking a break from the network were diverse. The most common reason was not having enough time for the site, with 21 percent of people saying they were just too busy with real-life responsibilities, their careers, their family lives or other important matters to spend time reading posts, liking and commenting.

Other motivations for leaving– about 10.8 percent called it a complete waste of time, another 10.3 percent cited a lack of interest in the content, and 9.1 percent said they were unhappy with the amount of drama and gossip on the site.

About 4 percent of users mentioned privacy and security concerns as their reason for taking some time off. Among the comments from those who took Facebook breaks– “I was tired of stupid comments.” “I had crazy friends. I did not want to be contacted.” “I took a break when it got boring.” “It was not getting me anywhere.” “You get burned out on it after a while.”

And Pew was quick to point out that not everyone who leaves Facebook comes back to the social site. According to Pew, about 19 percent of online adults who currently don’t use Facebook formerly maintained a profile on the site. The number of Facebook users in the U.S. is plateauing, as only 7.9 percent of non-users said they would be interested in perhaps joining.

Facebook needs to keep its users active on the site and mobile apps, especially since the pool of untapped of potential new members in the U.S. is dwindling.

If Facebook starts to feel stale, more of its active users could take longer breaks or leave altogether, like they did with such formerly hot social networks as Friendster and MySpace.

In other hi tec news, Intel says it is getting out of the traditional desktop motherboard business, as it needs to better focus its resources on the more popular and higher margin mobile products.

“We disclosed internally that Intel’s desktop motherboard business will begin slowly ramping down over the course of the next three years,” Intel said in a note to reporters and the media.

So what does that mean exactly for the industry? Well, it depends. Think of the personal computer tower systems that used to be so popular barely two to three short years ago.

That’s what Intel is winding down as it devotes more of its resources to laptops, ultrabooks, tablets and, last but not least, smartphones.

“Intel’s internal talent and its broad experience of twenty years in the motherboard business is being reallocated to better address emerging new form factors,” Intel said.

Those various designs will be mostly mobile, though Intel will also address emerging desktop designs. But even those, like the tiny Intel NUC board and the all-in-one have their roots in the mobile world, nevertheless.

The end of the development cycle will come with Intel’s upcoming Haswell chip generation, due to launch sometime in mid-2013.

“Intel will stop developing new motherboards once the Haswell launch is completed,” the company added. Of course, that doesn’t mean the demise of the desktop altogether, as motherboard makers like Asus and Gigabyte are still expected to continue to participate in that market segment.

“Intel expects the broad and capable desktop motherboard ecosystem (Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and a few others) to fully support Intel’s growing roadmap and large global customer base,” Intel said.

Source: The Pew Research Center.

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