Study: More Facebook Users Comment Rather Than Like Content & Power Users Drive Activity

A recent study from Pew Interactive polled Facebook users on how exactly they use the various elements of Facebook.  A handful of interesting findings were uncovered including a segment of “power users,” gender-based differences and activity usage.

Power Users
One of the most prevalent themes in the data is the minority existence of “power users” that drive the majority of activities.  This niche power segment makes up 20-30% of all Facebookers and is the lifeblood of Facebook interaction.  This specialty group tags photos, messages and likes content regularly.  They do so at an astounding rate as well.  For most users it is more common to be liked, be added as a friend than to be the one spurring the interaction.

  • Only 40% of participants added friends, yet 63% received friend requests
  • The average polled user liked content 14 times per month while  they only received feedback via a “like” 20 times per month
  • Only 12 percent of users tagged a friend in a photo, yet 35% where tagged via photos


Overall, the power users helped to skew the overall stats so that most users receive more than they give.  This holds true on the majority of Facebook activities, here’s a look at a few:

  • Friends
    While 88% of users don’t add friends, the average Facebook user adds seven users a month.  These friends tend to stick as well as less than 5% of users have hid content from their feed.  To no surprise, men were more likely to send more friend requests and women were more likely to receive them.
  • Likes
    When it comes to liking content, most users simply avoid clicking on the upward thumb.  A third of respondents used the like button once a week and 37% of respondents had their own content liked.  Of course the power users drive interaction with 5% of users linking content over 100 times a month.
  • Messages
    A surprising stat was the frequency of Facebook messaging that nearly doubled the usage of the like button.  54% of users sent Facebook messages and 59% received messages.  The average Facebook user received nearly 12 messages each month.
  • Comments
    This is one activity where users tend to give more than receive.  55% of the sample commented on friends’ content, while only 51% had received a comment.  Some users are crazy about commenting – 20% of users comment every single day.  A handful of users (5%) comment over 100 times a month.
  • Pokes
    The forgotten favorite “poke” is one of the least utilized activities on Facebook.  Only 6% of users poked someone during the 30 day survey, 7% of which received a poke themselves.

An astounding fact that was uncovered in the survey was how far the average person can reach via friends.  The average user has 245 friends and their average friend has 359 friends (12% of which is interconnected).  The average user would then reach 77,400 people through friends and ‘friends of friends.’ Additionally, some rough calculations show that within 2 degrees of separation (one more level of friends) a user can reach 7,821,772 people.

The survey polled 269 users and accessed data on their Facebook account in order to confirm survey responses.  See Pew Internet for more information on the report.

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Facebook | Facebook: Statistics


About The Author: is the Director of Marketing for Cypress North, a company that specializes in social media and search marketing services and web-based application development. He has been in the Internet marketing industry for 6+ years and specializes in Social Media Marketing. You can also find Greg on Twitter (@gregfinn) or LinkedIn.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn

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