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Facebook not a social network, but a broadcasting channel?




Dr. Cameron Marlow, the in-house sociologist at Facebook, recently shared some interesting statistics about the social network’s users (source: The Economist, via InsideFacebook).

The average male Facebook user with 120 friends:

  • …comments on 7 of his friends’ photos, status updates, or wall.
  • …messages or chats with just 4 of his friends

The average female Facebook user with 120 friends:

  • …comments on 10 of her friends’ photos, status updates, or wall.
  • …messages or chats with only 6 of her friends

The average male Facebook user with 500 friends:

  • …comments on 17 of his friends’ photos, status updates, or wall
  • …messages or chats with just 10 friends

The average female Facebook user with 500 friends:

  • …comments on 26 friends’ photos, status updates, or wall
  • …messages or chats with only 16 friends

So contrary to what you’d expect, we’re not “networking” as much as we are “broadcasting our lives”. Maybe the site should change its description from:

Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.

into…

Facebook is a one-to-many utility that allows people to advertise themselves to not-so-good friends and distant relatives.

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Facebook not a social network, but a broadcasting channel? Posted by on March 1, 2009 at 5:53 PM. Use this trackback if you're linking this story.

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