Data Deep Dive: FB users spend 27% of their time in the newsfeed

January 24, 2012

Data Deep Dive, Facebook

How do you use Facebook? How does your time spent on the site break down? For me, it’s easy. I spend 90 percent of my time in the newsfeed. At least. With the remaining time spent on profiles and maybe brand pages.

According to a study Buddy Media released Monday, my newsfeed affinity isn’t shared by the average Facebook user. Buddy’s study (yes, had that one in the works for a while) says Facebook users only spend 27 percent of their time in the newsfeed. Jason Keath at Social Fresh did a great analysis of this part of the study and what it means for marketers. I highly recommend you check it out. But in this post, I want to talk about some of the ambivalence of the numbers and another piece of the study that I found as, if not more, important.

Part 1

Image credit: Buddy Media


You can see the study breakdown above:

- We covered the 27 percent block of time spent in the newsfeed, which is the highest amount of time.

- 17 percent is spent with photos, which last time I checked, most people interact with via the newsfeed. So not sure why that’s separated.

- Then 25 percent is a category called All Other. Jason said he thinks that might include Facebook groups. But couldn’t it also include videos, notes and links — all of which we usually interact with via the newsfeed.

- And then there are Apps/Tools at 10 percent, which users often engage in based on a newsfeed recommendation.

- Profiles, at 21 percent, are the only piece of the pie I really think fits outside the newsfeed.

All that to say, this research shows me that the newsfeed is still where most engagement originates on Facebook. So if you are spending a lot of dollars and time in other areas of the social network, you might want to reassess.

Part 2

Image credit: Buddy Media


Another part of Buddy’s study (there it is again) covers the “three basic levers” that lead to social media marketing success. You can see said levers in the diagram above. What I like about this infographic is it reminds us Facebook is more than just acquiring fans. Don’t laugh. Still SO many brands that only care about fans. “Talking about this” is my new fave Facebook metric.

The part I don’t like about this infographic is it ignores the most important question you have to ask to determine if your Facebook efforts are successful — What actions did customers take as a result of your Facebook marketing? The actions you should care about depend on what your brand wants its customers to do. For example, if clickthroughs to a certain website page where transactions happen is important, then Facebook better be driving its fair share.

I could give examples like the one above all day. But the fact of the matter is that if you are only counting fans and the three levers, Facebook will continue to be a nice-to-have from your executive team’s POV.

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Shonali 1222 pts

I had a look at the presentation and couldn't find any explanation for the estimated value of $3.55 CPM for earned impressions (and you already know how I feel about that kind of "value"). Because you're absolutely right - it's the actions that matter, and most organizations still don't realize that.

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  1. [...] the supporting information coming from Brian’s and Adam’s posts along with what we heard from Buddy Media’s Facebook study last week. Most Facebook users spend the majority of their Facebook time in the news feed. Not on brand [...]