[LINK] Facebook

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sun Feb 5 17:48:32 AEDT 2012

<http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/> February 3, 2012 

The Pew Research Internet Project released a report about Facebook on 
Friday, providing insights into the company ..

Rather than focusing on the company's financials, the report "Why Most
Facebook Users Get More Than They Give" sheds light on how Facebook's
now 845 million users engage with Facebook, and what they get out of it.

The findings show that social interactions on Facebook closely mirror 
social interactions in the real world.

For example, over the course of a one-month period, researchers found 
that women made an average of 11 updates to their Facebook status, while 
men averaged only six. Also, women were more likely to comment on other 
people's status updates than men.

"There was a general trend in our data that women use Facebook more than 
men," said Keith Hampton, a professor at Rutgers and lead author of the 
report. "This is a phenomenon that is not unique to Facebook. Women are 
traditionally in charge of social relationships offline, and that seems 
to be true of the online world as well."

The report says men are more likely to send friend requests and women are 
more likely to receive them. That's something else we see in the real 
world -- especially in bars.

The report also says that most people who use Facebook get more out of it 
than they put into it, which may explain why they keep coming back.

Researchers found that 40% of Facebook users in a sample group made a 
friend request, while 63% received at least one friend request. They 
found that 12% of the sample tagged a friend in a photo, but 35% were 
themselves tagged in a photo. And each user in the sample clicked 
the "like" button next to a friend's content an average of 14 times but 
had his or her own content 'liked' an average of 20 times.

Why the imbalance?

"There is this 20% to 30% who are extremely active who are giving more 
than they are getting, and they are so active they are making up for 
feeding everyone extra stuff," Hampton said. "You might go on Facebook 
and post something and have time to click 'like' on one thing you see in 
your news feed, but then you get a whole bunch of 'likes' on your news 
feed. That's because of this very active group."

He also said extremely active users tend to have a niche: Some are really 
into friending, others are really into tagging photos, and still others 
click the 'like' button a lot. Rarely is any one user extreme in all 
those ways.

I asked Hampton what he could tell me about these extremely active 
people, whom he calls Facebook "power users." Are they unstoppably 
social? Unemployed? Lonely?

"It could be people who are always active -- whatever they are doing in 
their life, they are very active. Or it could be that just in the one 
month we observed them they are active and another month a different 
group of people would rise up," he said. "It could be that there is 
something going on in their life that causes them to be very active, or 
it could be that some people think of it almost as a job to be active on 



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