The article plays on the term "stickiness" as in "the amount of time users spend at a web site over a period of time." This can be a major factor in selling ad space on a web site or otherwise monetizing it. But the sticky-ness described in the article is the problem of closing a Facebook account, which basically you cannot do. I found this out when I realized I had two Facebook accounts. Not sure how that happened (but it would seem to be a flaw in the Facebook design that it could happen).
I figured I would delete one account. I could not. I could close it down, somewhat, but the stuff, the data that was associated with it, remains in the Facebook server farm, ostensibly so I can revive that account at some point in the future. I assumed this difficulty in deleting an account was driven by security concerns, as in: make it hard for people to close accounts they are not unauthorized to close, i.e. one's belonging to other people. Apparently that might not be the case. Could it be they want to keep mining that data forever? Here are a few points to note, from the Times article:
- Facebook’s Web site does not inform departing users that they must delete information from their account in order to close it fully—meaning that they may unwittingly leave anything from e-mail addresses to credit card numbers sitting on Facebook servers.