Recently, Macromill Research took a close look at the usage patterns of 500 Facebook users, a survey that revealed a number of interesting trends. As it’s quite a large survey, I’ll split it into two parts.
Over the 16th and 17th of February 2012 500 members of the Macromill monitor group who were current users of Facebook completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 61.8% of the sample were male, 2.2% in their teens, 21.2% in their twenties, 30.6% in their thirties, 25.0% in their forties, and 21.0% aged fifty or older.
It’s funny, but true overall, I think, that food is the top subject for posts and likes! I recently witnessed on Google+ (I’m not active at all on Facebook) a naturalised Japanese friend of mine post what I thought looked like quite an ordinary meal, but it managed about 12 +1s (likes), and every single one of these was from a Japanese name!
Q1: How do you have fun on Facebook? (Sample size=500, multiple answer)
|Checking what friends are doing||65.2%||59.5%||74.3%|
|Looking up old friends||54.8%||54.7%||55.0%|
|Posting what I’d doing myself||41.4%||36.9%||48.7%|
|Chatting to friends on Facebook||30.6%||26.5%||37.2%|
|Looking at famous people’s corporate fan pages||19.2%||19.7%||18.3%|
|Making my own information public||17.2%||16.5%||18.3%|
|Looking up overseas friends||16.4%||12.9%||22.0%|
|Looking for people with similar interests||16.0%||18.8%||11.5%|
|Increasing my circle of professional contacts||8.6%||12.3%||2.6%|
|Checking in my current location||3.8%||4.2%||3.1%|
|Making my own fan pages||2.0%||2.3%||1.6%|
Compared with last year, activities in most categories have increased, except, curiously, looking for foreign friends, dropping from 30.0% last year to 16.4% this year.
There was also a breakdown by frequency of use for each category. One number that stood out was that under 1% of those who logged in once a day or less checked in with their physical location, but 13.4% of those logging on at least twice a day did.
Q2: When did you first register on Facebook? (Sample size=500)
|2006 or earlier||1.6%|
Q3: About how often do you log onto Facebook? (Sample size=500)
|Twice a day or more||25.4%|
|Once a day||27.4%|
|Once every two or three days||14.2%|
|Once every four or five days||6.0%|
|Once a week||10.8%|
|Twice or thrice a month||7.8%|
|Once a month||5.2%|
|Less than that||3.2%|
Since last year, the numbers logging in twice a day or more has tripled from 8.6%.
Q4: About how long do you spend on average on each session on Facebook? (Sample size=500)
|Less than five minutes||12.8%|
|Five to ten minutes||19.0%|
|Ten to twenty minutes||32.2%|
|Twenty to thirty minutes||8.0%|
|Thirty minutes to one hour||20.0%|
|More than one hour||8.0%|
That made for an average session on 19 minutes. Those in their twenties spend 23.6 minutes online, versus 14.1 minutes for those over fifty.
Q5: How many Facebook friends do you have? (Sample size=500)
|None at all||12.4%|
|One to four||19.6%|
|Five to nine||12.8%|
|Ten to nineteen||14.6%|
|Twenty to twenty-nine||11.2%|
|Thirty to forty-nine||10.2%|
|Fifty to ninety-nine||10.2%|
|One hundred or more||9.0%|
The average user had 34.3 friends; those in their twenties had 68.2, and the over fifties just 12.0. The average is up just under 10 friends since last year.
Q6: What sorts of emotions do you want to share on Facebook? (Sample size=500, multiple answer, top 10)
Q7: What sorts of emotions in your friends’ posts make you want to press the ‘Like’ button? (Sample size=500, multiple answer, top 10)
Q8: What sorts of contents do you share on Facebook? (Sample size=500, multiple answer, top 10)
|1||Food (cooking, restaurants, etc)||49.3%|
|3||Random everyday stuff||44.2%|
|4||Street scenes, scenery||30.1%|
Q9: What sorts of contents in your friends’ make you want to press the ‘Like’ button? (Sample size=500, multiple answer, top 10)
|1||Food (cooking, restaurants, etc)||51.6%|
|3||Random everyday stuff||45.3%|
|7||Street scenes, scenery||36.0%|