Facebook: There are four types of users on the social network, say researchers

Selfies are Facebook's self-promoters, posting pictures, videos and text updates not to build relationships but to garner 'likes' and attention

A new study categorises Facebook's two billion monthly users
A new study categorises Facebook's two billion monthly users

There are four different types of Facebook user, ranging from people who use the social network to build on real-world relationships, to those focussed on "likes" and attention, researchers claim.

A new study labels the site's two billion monthly users as relationship builders, town criers, selfies, or window shoppers, using a questionnaire with 48 statements respondents were asked to rate.

A team at the Mormon Brigham Young University in Utah said relationship builders "respond to others’ posts and use additional Facebook features primarily in an attempt to fortify relationships that exist beyond their virtual world".

For them, the site is "an extension of their real life" and they identified with the suggestion that "Facebook helps me to express love to my family and lets my family express love to me," lead researcher Tom Robinson said.

Town criers tend not to share information about themselves but "want to inform everybody about what’s going on" in the news, or their local area, Mr Robinson said.

They use other ways to keep in touch with family and friends.

Selfies are Facebook's self-promoters, posting pictures, videos and text updates not to build relationships but to garner "likes" and attention.

They agreed with the idea that "the more ‘like’ notification alarms I receive, the more I feel approved by my peers," researchers said.

Study co-author Kris Boyle said the image "selfies" present to the virtual world may not be accurate.

Window shoppers, by contrast, use Facebook as "the social media equivalent of people-watching", researcher Clark Callahan said. They identified with the idea that "I can freely look at the Facebook profile of someone I have a crush on and know their interests and relationship status".

Respondents sorted the list of 48 statements in order of how they reflected their use of Facebook, then rated them individually on how accurately they described them.

The Independent has contacted the university to establish the study's sample size

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in