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Facebook online behavior study should come as no surprise

An excellent article just posted in Business Week revealed interesting approaches used by Facebook to determine how to capitalize on people’s friendships. Their studies showed that on average, people only closely communicate with about 10 people, even though they may have 500 “friends” on their list.


This is hardly a surprise and confirms research by danah boyd (no, I did not spell her name wrong. After all, if you are claimed to be a “guru” you need to be a guru) and also a study by the MacArthur Foundation on Digital Youth.  Both studies show that online social networks are really only digital “hangouts”, a modern place mall (which now has possibly become uncool).  What is interesting to see is that while there has been a lot of research on youth behavior online – perhaps because they have adapted social networking so quickly – Facebook’s research may prove that the behavior does extend to the older generations.

But what is definitely clear is that  there is a generation gap in terms of how you manage your online personas. The Millennials seem to lean towards having 1 online personality – not worrying about business colleagues or future employers seeing pictures of your summer holiday, while Gen X’ers and up prefer to separate work and pleasure.  This does have implications for any word of mouth marekting program you want to launch.  Furthermore, it highlights the necessity for a viral marketing solutuion that span across social networks, and that can start identifying not just friend relationships but influencer relationships.  This is precisely what we are working on at Storyz.  Check out our marketing pitch example if you want to know more.

Posted in Social Media Marketing.

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