Many people at some point have thought about deleting an application from their cell phone. The truth is that there are plenty of reasons to do so, from cyberbullying to concerns about people’s privacy. In addition, applications, like other everyday products, are also expendable at some point.
A recent study conducted by VPNOverview managed to obtain important answers on this topic. Among the most popular social networking apps that users searched the most for information on how to remove were Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.
According to trend analysis from the website specializing in cybersecurity, these were the top social networks that people sought to remove over a six-month period. During that span, just over 900 thousand searches related to the words how to remove or deactivate Instagramwere recorded.
Intention to delete Instagram surpassed Facebook
The popular app from Meta Platform, Inc . surpassed the other top 30 apps ranked among the most popular in the U.S. by number of downloads, the company said in its February report.
The intent to delete or disable Instagram outpaced Facebook, which appears in second place in searches for the same purpose, by more than 50%. According to VPNOverview, the number of searches to remove Facebook during the study period was 385,000.
The report also analyzed the search volume for terms related to the words “removal” or “deactivation” of popular applications via the web platform keywordtool.io. Data from web analytics company Similarweb was also analyzed.
The social networking applications that Americans would most like to remove or disable according to VPNOverview’s research are these:
- Instagram (900,120 searches)
- Facebook (385,410)
- Snapchat (217,400)
- Twitter (92,490)
- Telegram (24,819)
Exposure to social networks reaches record levels
The study highlights that exposure time to social networks by U.S. users has reached record levels in recent years. An average American spends between 4 to 6 hours a day viewing apps on their mobile.
Through the survey, VPNOverview wanted to find out which apps are most likely to be discarded this year by users.
The researchers explain that the result is hardly logical considering the popularity of Instagram and Facebook. Both Meta-owned apps are present on more people’s phones compared to others. Hence, the interest in deleting them is also proportionally higher.
For the whole of last year, Instagram was the most downloaded app, with a global download volume of 548 million, behind only TikTok which reached 678 million downloads worldwide, according to BusinessofApps data. So Instagram is in no danger of disappearing soon.
Growth of IG and FB has stagnated
What the study does outline is that growth in the number of users and engagement on both Meta platforms tended to stagnate during 2022. All the research conducted so far shows a growing distrust regarding the use of the most popular social networks.
This distrust is largely due to the misinformation that circulates through them. Likewise, cyberbullying and phishing scams, which have become so prevalent. Not to mention concerns about privacy and the use of user data by companies.
So far Meta has not commented on VPNOverview’s study on which apps Americans want to delete the most. When analyzing search volume by state, the research yielded that Facebook is the app users most want to disable in 31 of the 50 states analyzed.
Twitter and Disney Plus drop
Not least in the study, Twitter saw a -2.3% drop in the number of active users over the past six months. On the other hand, the decentralized social networking application Mastodon managed to make a leap by registering a 4321 % growth in terms of active users.
Another platform that experienced a mega drop was Disney Plus. The number of active users on the popular streaming service declined -19.63% in the last six months. While Facebook Messenger also dropped 80.42% in the number of new user downloads during the period.
Many users are particularly concerned about the impact of social networks on the mental health of children and adolescents. CNBC reported that internal studies leaked from Meta revealed some of the negative effects that prolonged use of Instagram and Facebook could have on young people.
Young people’s opinions divided on the use of social media
Some studies have revealed that U.S. teens for the most part are willing to take daily breaks from social media. Where there is disagreement is on whether to stop using social networks altogether.
In 2022, the Pew Center determined through a study that 54% of teens surveyed found it very “difficult” to completely give up social media use. Meanwhile, another 46% of the participants in the survey said it would be “easy” to do so, including 20% who considered it “very easy”.
In the same study, 6 in 10 U.S. teens revealed that they currently use Instagram. Just 32% said they use Facebook, the social networking powerhouse that appears to be slipping in the usage preferences of younger people.
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