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Facebook's popularity is slumping in the UK as users become fed up with being bombarded with advertising, a YouGov survey has revealed.

In a report examining social media use among web-savvy Brits, the market research firm found a 9 per cent drop in Facebook usage since April 2012.

Among the people who had quit Facebook, 23 per cent said they'd done so because they were "fed up with social marketing promotions", up 18 per cent from April 2012. Exactly one-fifth ditched the social network because they were nervous their personal info would be handed over to third parties.

The report also suggested that advertising on Facebook isn't very successful, with just one in 20 users having clicked on an ad. Ten per cent are adamant that the corporate messages propagated by Zuckerberg's social advertising network aren't relevant to them.

YouGov research director James McCoy said: “This report shows that reaching potential customers through social media is rather different from doing so through traditional media channels. The proportion of Facebook users who are tuning out brands’ marketing efforts clearly indicates that a savvier approach is needed."

Despite these fears about corporate snooping, just under half of all social media users have "Liked" the page of a brand, while about a quarter have followed a corporation on Twitter.

The main motivation for handing out access to personal information is a desire for free stuff. Out of the people who follow or like brands, 34 per cent hope to get something in return.

Just under half of all social media users wouldn't mind following brands as long as there were a few freebies or special offers available for the taking. These consumers also look to social networks for product advice, with 13 per cent having bought something based on social media recommendations - up 7 per cent from last year.

The full results of YouGov's Social Media Journey report can be downloaded from their website, for a mere £3,500. ®

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