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Traits of power users and other Facebook facts researched

A report just released about Facebook and its users, provides some interesting insights. Instead of focusing on the social site’s financials, as most analysts are currently doing, it tries to explains how social interactions on the platform tend to mirror those in the real world.  This insightful study, entitled ‘Why Most Facebook Users Get More Than They Give’ tries to shed light on how Facebook users tend to engage and connect with each other and what they really get out of it.

Some of the key findings of The Pew Research Internet Project’s report on Facebook users’ habits are as follows:

Power users who drive the interaction

Most Facebook users get more out of the site than they would put into it, something that goes to underline as why they want to come back. About 40% of users in a sample group, researchers found, made a friend request, whereas 63% received one friend request at least.

Roughly 12% of those observed did tag a friend in a photo, whereas not less than 35% of them were themselves tagged. Each user in the research sample clicked ‘like’ button next to a Facebook friend’s content for 14 times on average but had the own content ‘liked’ 20 times in bargain.

Explaining the stats, lead author of this report and a professor at Rutgers, Keith Hampton, says, “There’s this 20%-30% extremely active users who are invariably giving more than they are actually getting. They are so active that they’re making up for feeding everyone on the site extra stuff. When you get that whole bunch of ‘likes’ on news feed. It’s because of this active group. It could be that something is going on in their life, causing them to be active, or it could be that they take it almost as a job.”

These extremely active users or Facebook “power users might be doing so not out of compulsion but more out of a voluntary passion for tagging photos, or for friending.

Behavior patterns of male and female users

Women on an average made 11 updates to their Facebook status, whereas average for male users was just about six. The former were also more likely to comment on status updates of other people than men would do. Men are more likely to drop in friend requests than women who are the ones receiving or refusing them – something we notice in the real world as well.

According to Hampton, there was a general trend found in our data showing that women use it (Facebook) more than men – a phenomenon not unique to the site. “Women are traditionally in greater charge of social relationships offline as well. That also seems to be the case in the online world,” the researcher added.

Little evidence of so-called Facebook fatigue

Importantly, the researchers found among their sample hardly any evidence of Facebook fatigue.  They found no correlation between length of time using the site and a gradual decline in activity on Facebook. On the contrary, the more length of time passed by since a user began using the site, the more frequently he or she will make status updates, use the ‘like’ button, tag friends in photos and comments on friends’ content.

The above findings should also prove vital clues to brand managers, leading to pertinent Facebook marketing ideas, on further analysis.