There are days where it might seem like everybody is using Facebook for the same reason – to project themselves and make their voice heard the loudest – but a new study suggests that all Facebook users can be split into one of four groups.
Three professors from Brigham Young University in Utah have put together a report that analyses the way people use the social media site and what they are trying to gain from it. Tom Robinson, the study’s lead author, says it simply aims to answer the question “why do you like this?”
After fielding a number of responses, the academic trio broke all Facebook users into the below four categories:
The group you might notice the most on Facebook are the ones that are constantly posting about themselves. Whether they’re sharing photos of themselves on nights out, using Facebook as a vlogging exercise or telling you what they had for dinner, Facebook is all about self-image for this particular category.
Selfies tend to strive to get likes, shares and interaction, believing it reinforces their social status, and enjoy the attention Facebook offers them.
Another category of people that probably clog up your news feed are Town Criers. These Facebook users also like to post and share a lot, but it’s usually more to do with what’s going on in society. They use social media as a reporting tool, updating others on events and sharing news, but rarely reveal too much about themselves.
Others use Facebook to create friendships and strengthen bonds between those they already know. You might know somebody on Facebook who is always reminding us all of how much they love their partner, or what a great mum or dad they have.
Alternatively, Relationship Builders might use social media to forge connections in business – something Facebook has become more adaptable to in recent years.
The silent assassins of the social media world, Window Shoppers rarely post on Facebook at all, but they still use the site. They could be seen as the nosey parkers of the Facebook world, enjoying scrolling through their newsfeed to see what others are doing, and perhaps even taking a peek at other users’ photos and personal information. Many of them admitted that being able to check the interests and relationship statuses of people they had a crush on was part of Facebook’s allure to them.
I would say I’m mostly a Town Crier, in that I share a lot of stories and content that interests and amuses me, but it’s rarely about what I’m doing myself, and there are large parts of my Facebook profile I haven’t bothered to fill in. Perhaps I use Facebook as an extension of my interest in journalism and reporting. To a lesser extent, I’m probably a slight Window Shopper as I follow hundreds of bands so I can keep up to date on their gigs and new releases, but rarely interact with them.
Which category do you fall into?