A recent study found that college students demanded an average of $2,076 to quit Facebook for a year. Auctions were held to pay the lowest bidder to quit for a day, three days, a week, and a year.
Researchers compared Facebook’s stock value to how much these users demanded in return for quitting. Across the different auctions, students demanded more money per day when they were asked to quit Facebook for a longer period of time.
The authors of this study began as two separate teams that independently designed experimental auctions to estimate the economic value of Facebook. As a result, each auction has a slightly different design and advantages.
People who used Snapchat or Instagram more had lower bids, suggesting that these platforms can act as substitutes to an extent.
According to the report published in the Journals Plos, researchers conclude that they must actually be getting a great deal, even with advertisers making money off of them.
Researchers believe that these students really do get $2,000 worth of value from the social network each year, just because that’s the price they demand for giving it up.
Auction winners were paid (with real money) to deactivate their account for periods ranging from an hour to a year, once they’d provided proof they’d completed the challenge.