Facebook now has 200 million mobile users and is busy working on many mobile apps. 

Not least of them is Facebook Places Write API which develops services based around location.   Facebook Places  allows users to share where they are and what are doing with Facebook friends via their mobile.  Although recently made available (Sept 2010) in UK, Facebook Places is not yet available here.  

Retail will never be the same again and this gives brand marketing and advertising a powerful new tool to build loyalty and customer base.



An article appearing in Silicon Republic this morning confirmed that Starbucks is the first brand in Facebook to exceed 10 million fans. According to Inside Facebook blog  Starbuck’s success has been hard won with marketing, promotions and advertising.

Starbucks maintain a very active presence on the social networking site and consiistently has an update or promotion for every occasion. Their page is consistently one of the top 20 fastest-growing pages.

Starbucks’ closest brand rivals on Facebook are Coca-Cola, with just under 7.5 million, and Skittles, with around 6.5 million fans.

Facebook logo

..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.

Google’s DoubleClick AdPlanner stats have confirmed Facebook is the top visited destination on the internet, with 570 billion page views and 540 million visitors.

Facebook logo
The AdPlanner stats reveal that the social networking site Facebook site now attracts 35pc of all traffic on the Top 1,000 websites measured.

Read the full articule on Silicon Republic

Fascinating Facebook

March 2, 2010

Face the  Facts
I offer no apologies for completely mixing up sources, I pulled out facts that I found interesting 😉

  • Facebook has more than 400 million active users worldwide
  • 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • The average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook
  • The average user has 130 friends on the site (better get inviting!)
  • Despite all the parents and grandparents continuing to join, most Facebook users are still relatively young with 80% of US users between the ages of 13-44
  • The most popular game of 2009 continues to be Farmsville, with approx 75 million active users a month (Dec 2009)
  • The most popular page on Facebook (March 2009) is Barack Obama, followed by Coca-Cola
  •  ‘Facebook login’ is fastest-rising search term on Google (Dec 2009)
  • Currently (Feb 10) there are 1.34 million Irish users of Facebook (thanks for the update Damien)

What does it all mean?

First off, that unlike some of the other declining social media sites such as Bebo or MySpace, Facebook is growing in popularity.  Facebook is here to stay; at least for the time being…

So what?  Well, with 1.34 million Irish users, and 1 million of them logging on daily, Facebook is worth taking a further look at.  We would like to understand some more about why users engage in Facebook and what do they do once they get on there.  And the million dollar question..  How do you make money through Facebook?

Well, we can’t answer that question, but we are looking forward to working with our friends from Mulley Communications and Calom Technologies to undertake usability research to further delve into the minds of the Facebook user..   Watch this space..

These research projects are funded through the Innovation Voucher Initiative from Enterprise Ireland.