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article imageDrop Facebook for a year? Yes, for $1000

By Tim Sandle     Jan 1, 2019 in Internet
Could you live without Facebook? Many people might answer 'no' to this question. How about a financial incentive? It seems that $1000 is the amount required to incentivize people to switch off from the service.
In terms of the cost to walk away from Facebook for a year, the answer is more than $1,000, according to a new study from Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus. The study is based on real-life auctions, and the data analysis shows a consistent value for users from the social media platform that exceeds Facebook's current market value.
To gather the data, the researchers used several auctions. Here people were paid to close their Facebook accounts for different time periods. The times ranged from just one day and up to one year. The study was run by economists and social media researchers.
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Facebook has over two billion global users and it remains, by a long way, the world's biggest social media platform. Access to Facebook is free of charge, which is what inspired the researchers to pitch the question: "What amount of money would you require to give up your Facebook account for some fixed period of time, ranging from one day to one year?"
The researchers knew that people spend many hours on Facebook (the average user spends 35 minutes per day) and that many derive considerable value from Facebook. Based on this, what would be the economic incentive to stop using the service? To assess this the researchers held three auctions.
The first auction involved 122 students at a Midwestern college. The outcome was that average bid for deactivating Facebook for one day was $4.17; for three days, $13.89; and for one week, $37.00. With the second auction, 133 students and 138 adults from a large Midwestern town were polled. Here it was found that the average bid to deactivate Facebook for one year in the student group was $2,076. In contrast the typical bid from the community group was $1,139. With the third auction, adults were polled in the U.S. This final survey found that the average bid to deactivate Facebook for one year was $1,921.
Interestingly, these values, if they were reflective of all Facebook users, would value the company at a far higher level that its current market capitalization. Facebook is currently valued at $400 billion; the results of the study suggest the true value is ten times higher.
The research has been published in the journal PLoS One, with the research paper titled "How much is social media worth? Estimating the value of Facebook by paying users to stop using it."
More about Facebook, Social media, Internet, Incentive
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