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With friends like that! Facebook "unfriendings" are on the rise

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

March 5, 2012 | 2 min read

More and more Facebook friendships are breaking up.

Now it's hip to "unfriend" people

The percentage of people who “unfriend” other Facebook members jumped from 56% in 2009 to 63% in 2011, according to a new Pew Research study.

And it's women who are wielding the axe more often: 67% say they deleted people versus 58% of men.

Young adults are more active “unfrienders” when compared with older users: 71% of those between 18 and 29 deleted people versus 63% of those aged 30 to 49.

To begin with, Facebook users competed to add the most friends, says the Wall Street Journal. But while Facebook was at first about hooking up with new friends and self-promotion - the latest phase is about being more selective.

Adam Hanft, CEO of marketing firm Hanft Projects, says it has become hip to unfriend people. The old measure of coolness was the number of friends you had . Now it's "the number of unfriendings you’ve done,” he says.

Some social networkers are also said to managing their “personal brand,” which often means unfriending people who cast them in an unflattering light, says Derrick Daye, managing partner at LA-based consultancy The Blake Project.

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