One Thousand dollars. This is the minimum amount that should be given to an average Facebook user to convince him to leave the social network for a year.
This is at least the conclusion of a study published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS One, and for the purposes of which we asked the question to 1258 people.
Of these 1258 people, 212 were students, 115 were adults recruited from a Midwestern US city and 931 were found online.
Scientists found that students were the most valuable at Facebook, averaging $2,076 a year. The group recruited on the Internet, considered to be the most representative, asked for an average of $1921 to be absent from the social network for one year.
The Midwest City group was more generous, claiming only $1139 on average to leave Facebook. The researchers indicate that this result could be influenced by several factors, including the fact that this group was more heterogeneous from a socio-economic point of view.
The team of scientists noted that participants who regularly use Snapchat or Instagram tended to bet a lower amount.
To achieve these results, the researchers organized four bids, during which participants had to indicate the lowest amount they would be willing to accept to deactivate their account for a full year.
In order to ensure that the guinea pigs were serious, the scientists promised them that they would really get the amount they had wagered if they won an auction (lowest bid) and that they managed to prove that they had deactivated their Facebook account.
For even greater reliability, the research team used a method called “Vickrey’s Auction,” which involves charging – or, in this case, giving – the winner the second highest bid. According to the experts, this method tends to ensure that participants will bet the amount they consider truly fair.
Facebook, happiness engine?
According to the researchers, their results show that even if Facebook registration is free, users consider that this social network has value.
They note that this value is relatively high despite the many scandals that shook the latter this year.
“One of the reasons people stay on Facebook, despite genuine concerns about how it’s used, is that they still get a lot of happiness out of it,” says Sean Cash, one of the authors. of the study, in an interview published in the journal MIT Technology Review.
This scientist also believes that a part of users’ lives is closely linked to the platform and that this discourages them from leaving it. “You may have 10 years of photos [on Facebook], or you may be using it to organize your study groups … People in their twenties may have even been on Facebook for their whole adult life” he emphasizes.