New study reveals the four types of Facebook users

Which one are you?

A survey was conducted by asking subjects to respond to a list of 48 statements.

The statements include: “Facebook is a source of stress and it depresses me” and “Facebook is an instant way to ask for help or something I need from people”.

The participants of the study ranked every statement on a scale from “most like me” to “least like me. The subjects were further interviewed by the researchers for additional insight and qualitative data.

The study's authors, from the School of Communication at Brigham Young University, argued that despite there only being 47 subjects that participated in the study, the fact that they used the Q methodology, the small number of participants is sufficient to reveal solid patterns.

The Q methodology is an approach to investigating divergent perspectives on subjective topics using sorting, statistic and factor analysis

The study reveals that Facebook has a Rashomon effect meaning that various user groups interpret the experience of using Facebook very differently.

Here are the four different types of Facebook users:

1.Window shoppers

Some may know them as lurkers but the authors of the study call them window shoppers.

The study says that they feel obligated to be on Facebook but rarely reveal any personal information on Facebook.

They believe that the people closest to them will be around them and they do not have to live their life out on Facebook.

Most people in this category related to the statements “I can freely look at the Facebook profile of someone I have a crush on and know their interest and relationship status” or “I have to use Facebook in order to stay connected with people”.

2.Relationship builders

These are the type of people that use Facebook for the purposes of strengthening their relationships with friends and family.

Such users identified more with the statement “Facebook helps me to express love to my family and lets my family express love to me.”

According to the study, relationship builders tend to post a lot and view pictures and videos and regularly comment on the pictures and updates that others have shared and even engage in conversations.

3.Town criers

This group includes professional journalists, activists and event organizers that use Facebook as a means to broadcast information to a wide range of close and distant connections but they are not really looking for any form of validation or follow-up so to say.

They are usually the first ones to share the latest memes or current issues taking place.

Town criers feel that they do not need to share their personal information on Facebook; not because they are disinterested in connecting with their Facebook “friends”, but would rather have an actual conversation with their friends either via calls or text messages or one on one conversations.


The name probably sells these type of people out already.

It seems that the name selfies is not only associated with someone taking pictures of themselves but also to describe the type of Facebook users that they are.

Selfies mostly post pictures and videos to attract attention towards themselves.

They are validated by likes and comments and relate more with statements such as “The more ‘like’ notification alarms I receive, the more I feel approved by my peers.”

One selfie explained that “Taking a picture and letting it sit on my phone makes it nothing and useless, but once I post something on Facebook, it shows I’ve done something.”

One thing is for sure though, people use their online interactions to create a different, versions of themselves.


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