How are Facebook concerns affecting interactions with brands?

Following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Canadians are much more aware of the value exchange of Facebook, according to a recent study by Audience Insights, reports website Media In Canada.

Audience Insights surveyed 1,510 Canadians in early April to see how their behaviours were changing regarding Facebook. The results, said Audience Insights president Jeff Vidler, indicate that Canadian social users are at a “watershed moment,” and that advertisers need to pay attention.

Of the respondents, 65% said they’re less likely to click on sponsored posts or ads for more information (23% “somewhat less likely” and 42% “much less likely”); 60% said they are less likely to interact with the pages of companies or brands (25% “somewhat less likely” and 35% “much less likely”). There was also less likelihood to share links or content from other sources (55% total) and using Facebook to log in to third-party sites (64% total).

“I think advertisers really need to take a close look at what these changes mean for them.”

Facebook hasn’t announced many major changes to its user-facing operations – yet. While the social media site has placed some new restrictions on its API and that of sister app Instagram, mostly related to retargeting and what data advertisers have access to, some in the industry believe those changes aren’t a cause for concern.

While founder Mark Zuckerberg, who testified before U.S. congress on the company’s data and privacy policies this week, has not actually stated that there is a paid version of Facebook in the works, several publications such as Re/Code and The Verge have zeroed in on his remarks on Wednesday that “there will always be a version of Facebook that is free,” as if to suggest there could be a paid tier of Facebook in the future.