I haven’t written about Facebook since I created the group “Washington Metropolitan Area Residents for a 24 Hour Metro” back in February. Previous to that, the entries were related to my experiments using their internal advertising system (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) and prior to that, I briefly wrote about the Nexus application that shows the relationships & commonalities of my Facebook friends. Back in March of 2008, I had a little under 400 friends and since then I have gained over 600 new friends and now have a little more than 1,000 Facebook friends and they share a lot links.
A few months ago I discovered that I could subscribe to my friend’s shared links on Facebook through an RSS reader. I was attempting develop a means to synch up what I shared on Facebook with what I shared on this website and found that I could subscribe to what all my friends were sharing on Facebook. I had come to the conclusion that it was easier to share information through the Facebook platform than through this blog and I wanted to find a way that my shared links would show up here using my Daily Links concept. While I ultimately abandoned the effort (as well as the Daily Links concept), I kept my subscription active in Google Reader.
Today I decided to check out the statistics related to my Facebook friends shared link RSS feed. What I found was quite interesting….
The average links shared per week is a little over 574 “posts” (posts are technically individually shared links) and with a little over 1,000 friends, this would statistically translate to half of my friends share one link a week. However, from my experience, I would say that its probably 10% to 25% of my friends are active users who share links often and the rest are passive users or don’t use Facebook that much. To reach the number of 574 shared links per week, then in the last 30 days there was roughly 2300 links shared during the month (574 posts per week x 4 weeks = 2296.8 links per month), which translates to a little over 2 links per person per month. As far as the shape of the graph goes, like the traffic on this website, there is a seemingly up & down flow that I’ve found to correlate to how most people use the internet during the week and not using it during the weekend.
This screen grab shows something I wasn’t expecting. The time of day in which my friends share their links does not completely correlate to my initial notion that most people share links on Facebook only while at work. Instead the times in which my friends share the most links are around 10pm & 11pm at night; probably before they go to bed. However, judging by the 4pm & 5pm spikes in the number of shared links, I can deduce that people are sharing links more at the end of the work day than at the beginning. The spike at around 11am in the morning might indicate that people are using Facebook during their lunch break. In all, I think this graph is the most telling of the Facebook usage of my friends on-line social behavior.
Finally, this screen grab also shows shows the which day of the week my friends share the most links. This graph mimics the undulation shown on the Last 30 Days graphic above. Interestingly, Thursday edges out Wednesday as the most popular day and Tuesday is more popular than Friday. I personally expected Friday to be the day that the most links are share because in my experience it was the day of the week that required the least amount of work. At below 200 links, nearly half the amount for the other five days of the week, I was not surprised by the low number of links shared on the weekends. As I stated before, this mimics the traffic this website.
In summary, I find this type of information very interesting. I don’t think its that useful information for everyone because it only shows the on-line social behavior of my friends. Moreover, this information does not fully paint the entire picture of my friends Facebook usage. Status updates, uploaded photos, uploaded videos, and those stupid quizzes are not shown in these graphs; only the number of links that are being shared. However, I believe there are some general concepts that can possibly be extrapolated if you were to subscribe to your friend’s shared links.