Survey: Users Show Interest In Ad-Free Social Network
Half of respondents indicate openness to alternative network.
After the recent uproar over Facebook’s real names policy that provided rocket fuel to competing social network Ello, the company apologized to the LGBT community and is even readying a separate app that will allow Facebook usage under a pseudonym.
These moves are designed to blunt any potential exodus of users and the related PR fallout. The company looks like it has succeeded.
Part of Ello’s appeal for some and a central part of its “manifesto” is that it won’t sell user data to advertisers. And just as the Ello story was breaking a week ago, I decided to take a look at how much pent-up demand there is for an ad-free alternative to Facebook.
I asked 800 internet users through Google Consumer Surveys the following question: “Would you abandon Facebook for a new social network that had no advertising?”
“Would you abandon Facebook for a new social network that had no advertising?”
Google consumers surveys 10/14 (n=800 )
The responses I got are interesting. Roughly 20 percent of the audience said it didn’t use Facebook. Just under 26 percent said Facebook was fine. However, more than half of respondents indicated varying degrees of interest, with most saying it would depend.
Looking at the data by gender and age, there were some additional interesting findings:
- 26.6 percent of all men said “I currently don’t use Facebook”
- Women overall were more comfortable with Facebook but also more open than men to ad-free alternatives
- There was a paradox among 45 – 54 year olds. They were most comfortable (“fine”) with Facebook but also the group that said they currently didn’t use it more than any other
It’s extremely unlikely that Ello will emerge as a true challenger to Facebook. But what the survey does indicate is that there is some part of the audience that is interested in an alternative and at least ambivalent about advertising on the site.