Facebook Facts; a study on Facebook usage, the results are in..
June 28, 2010
..and it’s 4:1 to Facebook.
Facebook was recently identified by Google as the Number 1 visited destination on the Internet. This social media giant is now undisputedly a huge part of many users’ everyday Internet experience. Doesn’t it therefore make sense to try and understand a little bit more about what users do once they get into Facebook?
We in NELL thought so and were delighted when two previous clients of ours, Calom Technologies* and Mulley Communications** agreed, and engaged us to undertake a usability research study looking at the behaviour of Facebook users in Ireland.
So.. What did we find out..?
- The top three uses of Facebook were: to interact with friends, chat with friends and look at newsfeeds
- Games were mentioned as a popular Facebook activity in pre-test questionnaire. When questioned directly if they play any games on Facebook, only 11 out of 40 indicated that they do, the most popular game is Farmville
- Six participants told us that they used the events feature to issue invites and found it to be very useful. However, 22 participants have responded to invitations in the past
- The most popular method of sharing TV pages was to use the ’suggest a friend’ option. Users expected more from pages such as: storyline synopsis, biographies, spoilers, interviews, trailer etc.
- Users find out about pages mostly through their friends recommendations and then subsequently join this page (whether they were interested or not)
- Participants spent more time looking at adverts on profile and TV pages rather than adverts on News Feed page. 71% of participants looked at adverts on their Profile pages, 31% of users looked at adverts on the News Feed page (homepage).
- Users also pay more attention (53% vs. 31%) to page updates in their News Feed Wall rather than adverts to the right-hand side of the Wall.
- Different age groups spend the same amount of time on pages, but younger users spend less time reading page updates.
- We found no significant differences in user behaviour between male and female users.
Observations and testing took place in April 2010 in National College of Ireland with a group of 40 Facebook users; the majority of which were aged between 17-25yrs old. Participants were observed performing a set of tasks in Facebook and their behaviour was analysed using Observer XT technology and eye-tracking analysis. Users also completed surveys and participated in an interview.
*Calom Technologies develops software that integrates Internet media content, live TV streams & social networks and delivers this using an online website optimised for televisions. Calom Technologies were interested in how participants use Facebook when sharing video, and when accessing information and links on TV shows.
** Mulley Communications is a communications training and consultancy company who specialise in business blogging, online marketing training, media training and teaching companies about the latest online trends. They wanted to learn more about how users engage with advertising and media within Facebook.
Both of these studies were funded by the Innovation Voucher Initiative from Enterprise Ireland.