Friday, February 01, 2008

Lifetime profile of a Facebook user?

There has been a lot written about the growth of Facebook - as well as discrepancies on the true traffic numbers. While there has been a focus on page views, unique visitors etc., I am much more interested in the profiles and activities of Facebook users over time - particularly as they mature as users.

Doing a quick unscientific poll of a few of my peers, usage of Facebook has changed dramatically since their first 'Facebook experience'. To generalize greatly, the typical user joined Facebook because everyone else was, spent hours and days finding and linking to a few old friends, went through a frantic stage of uploading profiles and pictures, checked Facebook 5 times daily, then started to get annoyed with old distant acquaintances coming out of the woodwork, joined a bunch of silly groups with long names, added 20+ applications, were bitten by a vampire, couldn't figure out what 'poke' really did and why,  and then over night they had enough - some are calling this Facebook fatigue.

They now check it every few days, any more and they feel like they are stalkers.

With that said, a very few signed up and never went any further, and an equal few now use it as a substitution for email. 

I will become more interested when there are metrics on how users interact and use these social applications over time. It's no surprise that their traffic numbers are going up up up, but in my opinion any true value will be seen once the hype settles down and users become a bit more mature.

So for now, my social network is driven by email, Twitter, Flickr, and a few blogs.

1 comment:

Pablo Sánchez Kohn said...

Hi Paul!

Interesting post about Facebook experience. I am a Latin American consumer researcher and a heavy user of Facebook. I am the creator and manager of 3 groups and I use 4identities to manage them(an alumni group, a professional networking group, and a group for Bolivians living around the world).

Although some days I don't sign in, most of the time I "in" Facebook. I really enjoy networking and I consider myself a mix of "connector" and "maven" (using Gladwell terminology).

I am sharing this just to add a new case to your non-scientific research. =)

Let me know if you want to know more about my Facebook experience.

Best wishes!