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Social Media Restrictions on the Rise, Facebook Use at Work on the Decline

Facebook usage in the workplace is down for the first quarter of 2012, according to a new report released by a firm that provides Web content filtering for companies.

Facebook has shown a continual decline in the percentage of transactions from month to month, according to Zscaler's recently published data from its quarterlyState of the Web security research report.

Facebook traffic made up 41.72 percent of Web traffic filtered through their service in January, but dropped to 40.54 percent in March. One percentage point may not seem like a significant change, but Zscaler processes an estimated five billion transactions per week, providing services for companies around the world.

“These are tiny percentage changes, but that could be thousands or millions of users,” said Mike Geide, senior security researcher for Zscaler ThreatLabZ.

Geide says the decline in Facebook usage could be partially attributed to the fact that more companies are making polices on social networking andsocial-media enforcement.

Policy blocks that prevent employees from accessingsocial networking sites increased from 2.46 percent in January to 3.99 percent in March, according to the State of the Web report. Blocks that prevent employees from posting content to social networking sites increased from 0.01 percent in January to 0.18 percent. And streaming media blocks increased from 0.38 percent to 0.46 percent. 

Another factor, he said, is downsizing. With less people doing more jobs in the workplace, people may not have as much time to spend on social media sites, he said. 

The use ofTwitter, however, is on the rise suggesting that the microblogging service is becoming a more widely adopted resource for employees.

For more insights, click below for the full report.stateofwebq12012.pdf

photo byRobert S. Donovan/flickr