Why Most Facebook Users Get More Than They Give

Feb 03, 2012

Most Facebook users receive more from their Facebook friends than they give, whether the measurement is the number of friend requests received, the use of the "like" button, the number of messages sent or tagging people in photos.

The main factor driving this phenomenon is that there is a segment of "power users" who specialize in different Facebook activities and contribute much more than the typical user does, according to a new study that for the first time combines server logs of Facebook activity with survey data to explore the structure of Facebook friendship networks and measures of social well-being.

The typical Facebook user was moderately active during the month of the study's observation as far as sending friend requests, adding content and "liking" the content of their friends. However, a proportion of Facebook participants -- ranging between 20% and 30% of users depending on the type of activity -- were power users who performed these same activities at a much higher rate; daily or more than weekly. As a result of these power users, the average Facebook user receives friend requests, receives personal messages, is tagged in photos and receives feedback in terms of "likes" at a higher frequency than they contribute.

Read the full report, Why Most Facebook Users Get More Than They Give, on the Pew Internet & American Life Project's Web site.

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