Most Facebook users receive more from their Facebook friends than they give, 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.
These data were then matched with survey responses. And the new findings show that over a one-month period:
40% of Facebook users in our sample made a friend request, but 63% received at least one request
Users in our sample pressed the like button next to friends’ content an average of 14 times, but had their content “liked” an average of 20 times
Users sent 9 personal messages, but received 12
12% of users tagged a friend in a photo, but 35% were themselves tagged in a photo
“The explanation for this pattern is fascinating for a couple of reasons,” noted Prof. Keith Hampton, the lead author of the Pew Internet report, Why most Facebook users get more than they give. “First, it turns out there are segments of Facebook power users who contribute much more content than the typical user. Most Facebook users are moderately active over a one-month time period, so highly active power users skew the average. Second, these power users constitute about 20%-30% of Facebook users, but the striking thing is that there are different power users depending on the activity in question. One group of power users dominates friending activity. Another dominates ‘liking’ activity. And yet another dominates photo tagging.”