On Dec. 19, David Heinemeier Hansson quit Facebook and Instagram. It was a decision he made alongside his business partners at software company Basecamp.
“We’ve decided to become a Facebook-Free Business at @basecamp starting today,” Hansson, a prominent programmer with over 300,000 Twitter followers, wrote in a tweet. “No Facebook, Instagram, no WhatsApp. No ads. No profiles. No pages. No usage. No more.”
Basecamp, which develops productivity apps, deleted all of its Facebook-owned accounts. On Instagram, Hansson removed most of his posts, saying goodbye to his 34,000 followers. To lure other companies, the Chicago-based company started promoting the hashtag #FacebookFree.
CNBC spoke with a handful of other companies that have similarly stopped paying for Facebook and Instagram ads since the start of last year. Some said they quit due to concerns related to Facebook’s privacy policies, while others said they’ve become fed up with the unpredictability in how Facebook applies its ad policies.
Facebook’s data-sharing snafus, privacy issues and public relations disasters were the story of 2018. But despite a year in crisis, the company’s financials have held up just fine. Net income jumped 61 percent in the fourth quarter and 39 percent for the full year, while revenue last year surged 37 percent to $55.8 billion.