A recent study at Brigham Young University found that there are four types of Facebook users.
The researchers compiled a list of 48 statements identifying why people use Facebook. They asked subjects to sort the statements in order from “most like me” to “least like me” and came up with the top four types of users.
Relationship builders post, respond to others’ posts and use additional Facebook features primarily in an attempt to fortify relationships that exist beyond their virtual world. “They use it as an extension of their real life, with their family and real-life friends,” Robinson said. People in this group identified strongly with such statements as “Facebook helps me to express love to my family and lets my family express love to me.”
Town criers, on the other hand, experience a much larger gap between their real and virtual worlds. Unconcerned with sharing photos, stories or other information about themselves, they instead “want to inform everybody about what’s going on,” Robinson said. Like town criers from days of yore, “they’re pushing out information.” They repost news stories, announce events — but may otherwise neglect their profile pages, preferring to update family and friends through alternative means.
Selfies use Facebook to self promote. Like relationship builders, they post pictures, videos and text updates — but unlike relationship builders, they’re focused on getting attention, likes and comments. Study participants in this category identified highly with the statement “The more ‘like’ notification alarms I receive, the more I feel approved by my peers.” Selfies, said study co-author Kris Boyle, use the platform “to present an image of themselves, whether it’s accurate or not.”
Window shoppers, like town criers, feel a sense of social obligation to be on Facebook but rarely post personal information. Unlike town criers, these users, said study co-author Clark Callahan, “want to see what other people are doing. It’s the social-media equivalent of people watching.” Window shoppers identified with such statements as “I can freely look at the Facebook profile of someone I have a crush on and know their interests and relationship status.”
I would say this is a pretty accurate assessment of the top types of Facebook users… and I’m kind of a combination of the first three. I’m definitely not a window shopper though.
Which one or ones are you?
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