More Details & Stats on User Communication Patterns from Facebook Data Team

Two weeks ago, Facebook’s “in house sociologist” Cameron Marlow shared interesting data with The Economist on Facebook users’ social behavior patterns – essentially, while Facebook users have many friends, they only actively communicate with a core group of them.

Today, Marlow has shared additional thoughts and data on the findings in his personal blog. A few highlights:

1) Facebook’s Data Team calculated the number of friends for whom users “maintain” Facebook relationships, where “maintain” is defined as having clicked on a News Feed story or visited their profile more than twice. Their findings?

  • For those users with 500 friends, men maintain 7.8% of Facebook relationships, while women maintain 9.4% of Facebook relationships
  • For those users with 120 friends, men maintain 15.8% of Facebook relationships, while women maintain 18.3% of Facebook relationships
  • For those users with 50 friends, men maintain 18% of Facebook relationships, while women maintain 20% of Facebook relationships


2) The number of maintained, one-way, and reciprocal relationships scales on the order of 10% of total network size, as you would expect.


3) The News Feed is allowing more people to stay connected. As Facebook’s Marlow says,

The stark contrast between reciprocal and passive networks shows the effect of technologies such as News Feed. If these people were required to talk on the phone to each other, we might see something like the reciprocal network, where everyone is connected to a small number of individuals. Moving to an environment where everyone is passively engaged with each other, some event, such as a new baby or engagement can propagate very quickly through this highly connected network.


To get the full details on the Facebook Data Team’s approach and analysis, check out Marlow’s full post here.

Facebook Marketing

Mediabistro Event

Facebook Marketing

Starting January 13, work with the group marketing manager of social media at Microsoft/BingAds to grow your business on Facebook! In this course, you’ll learn how to set up your company page, understand Facebook best practices, and execute a monthly content strategy. Register now!


Leave a Reply

2 Responses to “More Details & Stats on User Communication Patterns from Facebook Data Team”

  1. How Twitter Accomplished What Facebook Couldn’t « The Multifaceted Market Researcher says:

    [...] that could be better facilitated on other platforms. Research from Facebook on their user communication statistics places the average number of reciprocal relationships maintained on the network to be at most 16 [...]

  2. florence says:

    i need help i beleive someone changed my password to log into facebook now they wont let me login please help me

Get the latest news in your inbox
interested in advertising with inside facebook?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Assistant Editor

8 Inc.
New York, NY

Copywriter & Editor

Santa Monica, CA

Director of Marketing & Communications

Neumans' Kitchen
New York, NY

Social Community Manager

Tallahassee, FL

Editorial Director

Phoenix House
New York, NY

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More

Our Sponsors

Mediabistro A division of Prometheus Global Media home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us