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Facebook study finds network skewed by “power users”

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By John Glenday, Reporter

February 4, 2012 | 2 min read

A study into the social interactions of Facebook users has found that most people receive more interactions such as “likes”, tags and messages than they receive.

Researchers at Pew Internet, a non-profit research firm, found that, on average, people ‘liked’ others Facebook content 14 times whilst being liked themselves around 20 over the course of a month.

A similar skew emerged in tagging with 12% actively tagging others in any four week period, with 35% being tagged themselves in a minimum of one photo.

Likewise for every nine personal messages sent they received 12 and whilst 40% made a friend request in that period, 63% received one.

Professor Keith Hampton, lead author of the report, said: “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 per cent to 30 per cent 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.”

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