According to a researchers who performed real-life auctions has stated that when it comes to quitting Facebook, users will need $1,000 (nearly Rs 70,000) on average to deactivate their accounts for one year.
After conducting series of auctions, in which people were actually paid to close their accounts for as little as one day or as long as one year, the researchers found that Facebook users would require an average of more than $1,000 to deactivate their account for one year.
First author of the study, Jay Corrigan, Professor of Economics at Ohio-based Kenyon College said, “We know people must derive tremendous value from Facebook or they wouldn’t spend millions of hours on the site every day. The challenge is how to put a dollar value on a service people don’t pay for.”
With more than 2.2 billion global users, Facebook, is among the social media websites that provide access at no cost, so the auctions created by the research team posed the question in reverse as to 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?
Saleem Alhabash at Michigan State University and Sean B Cash at Tufts University and Corrigan at Kenyon College with Matthew Rousu of Susquehanna University, began the work in capacity of independent researchers.
In total, the researchers ran three actual auctions. Winners were paid upon proof that their membership was deactivated for the set period of time.
Accordingly, at the auction, one with 122 students at a Midwestern college, the average bid for deactivating Facebook for one day was $4.17 and for one week $37. Reportedly, to calculate a one-year estimate, the researchers annualised this data which showed a range of $1,511 to $1,908.
Apparently, at auction two with 133 students and 138 adults from a large Midwestern university/town, the average bid to deactivate Facebook for one year in the student group was $2,076 while the average bid in the community group was $1,139.
Corresponding author Cash said in the study published in the journal PLOS ONE, “Auction participants faced real financial consequences, so had an incentive to seriously consider what compensation they would want to close their accounts for a set period of time and to bid truthfully.”
He also added, “Students placed a higher value on Facebook than community members. A number of participants refused to bid at all, suggesting that deactivating Facebook for a year was not a welcome possibility.”
According to reports, the study also contrasts the company’s market capitalisation with the value placed on it by its users.