ComScore Report: 27% of Facebook Browsing on News Feed, Just 10% on Apps

Today, internet marketing research company comScore released a white paper detailing which Facebook features receive the most usage and where users interact with branded content. The report shows that 27% of Facebook browsing is on the news feed and home page — 4% of all time spent online in the US.  21% of time was spent on profiles, 17% on Photos, 10% on applications, and 25% on the rest of the site. Most engagement with branded content happens on the news feed, not Pages, yet the average brand in the top 100 Facebook Pages reaches only 16% of their fans per week if they post five days a week.

These stats should illuminate that brands should put more effort into optimizing their news feed posts than developing apps for their Pages if they want to reach the most people. The report is based on a two million person opt-in panel of web internet users that agreed to be monitored, so the sample size is ample though it might skew towards savvier, less skittish users.

Most Time Spent on News Feed and Photos, Not Apps

Facebook’s Photos feature is often considered a core driver of time spent on Facebook. ComScore’s stats showing more usage of the news feed than Photos don’t necessarily disprove this, as time spent reading news feed stories and notifications generated by photo uploads and tags are counted towards the news feed’s time. Facebook has yet to develop other features as popular as the news feed or Photos.

Some might expect that applications and games would take up more than 10% of user time. In September 2010, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said over 200 million people, or roughly 40% of users were playing games on Facebook when the service had 500 million users, and that stat might still hold true. A few months prior, Playdom CEO cited undisclosed personal sources saying 40% of all time on Facebook was spent on games — a much higher percentage than comScore’s figures. These new stats should serve as a reality check that brands shouldn’t be too focused on building tab applications or marketing within social games.

Brands Must Focus on the News Feed

ComScore’s data supports a similar conclusion as findings by Facebook Page analytics tool provider PageLever, which showed that the average Facebook Page receives an average of just 7.49 news feed post impressions and only 3.19 unique Page views per day per 100 fans. Essentially, each post a Page publishes only reaches a small fraction of its total fans via the news feed, and an even smaller portion of its fans visit the Page itself.

Pages that want to increase the percentage of their fans which they reach with news feed posts should make sure to post every day. A study of the top 100 Pages showed that for each additional day per week that a Page posts, it reaches 2.5% more of its fan base. Those that post every day can reach as much of 22% of their fan base each week.

A study of three popular brands on Facebook, Starbucks, Bing, and Southwest Airlines, showed that they saw 40 to 151 times more impressions in the news feed than on their Pages. While this study only had three data points, marketers should take note of the disproportionate amount of exposure that occurs in the news feed. This is partly because re-shares of news feed posts by a Page’s fans help drive news feed exposure.

ComScore’s white paper also stresses that a great deal of potential for exposure lies in the friends of a brand’s current fans. If Pages can post content compelling enough that fans are willing to re-share it, they can reach a huge new audience. This is because Facebook has said for years that the average user has 130 friends, though we’ve heard that could be closer to 170 now. ComScore’s report shows that the total count of the friends of fans of Facebook’s most popular Pages is on average 31 to 84 times higher than the fan counts of those Pages.

In conclusion, users are spending the most time on the news feed, and thats where engagement with brands happens. Brands should post every day and aim to attain high levels of Likes, comments, and re-shares to increase the visibility of their posts and maximize exposure to both fans and their friends

For Page posting strategy tips that can help you leverage your existing fan base and gain new Likes, visit the Facebook Marketing Bible, Inside Network’s complete guide to marketing and advertising through Facebook.

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21 Responses to “ComScore Report: 27% of Facebook Browsing on News Feed, Just 10% on Apps”

  1. A few helpful Facebook Statistics says:

    [...] [...]

  2. Facebook reach and virality: comScore study backs up importance of wall-posting strategy « Mariamz says:

    [...] Follow this link to watch Mike Rich explain Comscore’s findings in more detail on video, and download their white paper, The Power of Like: How Brands Reach and Influence Fans Through Social Media Marketing. Also read Josh Constine’s article on Inside Facebook – which pulls out further insightful graphs and charts from the full report. [...]

  3. Targeting friends of fans on Facebook: more interruptive ? | New Media and Marketing says:

    [...] ComScore Report: 27% of Facebook Browsing on News Feed, Just 10% on Apps (insidefacebook.com) [...]

  4. Capitalizing On The New Reach Of Social Media | Simplify4 says:

    [...] Daily Facebook Page Visits:  735,000 (Estimation based on benchmark data) [...]

  5. Can’t Develop a Facebook App? Don’t Sweat It « SBDITC's Small Business Blog says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, “These stats should illuminate that brands should put more effort into optimizing their news [...]

  6. 5 ways for brands to use Facebook photos effectively says:

    [...] average Facebook users spend most time looking at a) newsfeeds and b) profiles… but a very close third is photos. It follows that creative use of photography is a good idea for marketers, as illustrated by [...]

  7. Facebook to Place Sponsored Stories Ads into Users' Newsfeeds | Wildfire Social Media Marketing Blog says:

    [...] 27% of all users’ time on Facebook is spent looking through the newsfeed, Wildfire is excited about this new opportunity [...]

  8. Facebook Sponsored Stories to be Featured in Newsfeeds | Venpop says:

    [...] lacking in reach because they were confined to the right side of your Facebook page. Since a recent Facebook case study has shown that 27% of Facebook users time is spent looking at their newsfeed it only makes sense [...]

  9. Quora says:

    What percentage of Facebook user activity is spent within the Facebook News Feed?…

    As of May 2011, 27% of time spent on Facebook was on the Newsfeed. * 27% of time is spent on Newsfeed * 21% of time is spent on Profiles * 17% of time is spent on Photos Will be interesting to see how this changes when Timeline gets to all users and mo…

  10. How should Page Admins deal with Flame Wars? (W.I.P.) | Professor Mediaczar's Magic Bean Laboratory says:

    [...] For more on this, see comScore’s ‘Power of Like’ White Paper (or read Inside Facebook’s short coverage of the research). [...]

  11. Noen veldig enkle Facebook-tips for bedrifter | says:

    [...] er at det er kun en bitteliten andel av tilhengerne som kommer til å besøke din Facebook-side etter at de har blitt tilhenger (rundt 3 [...]

  12. Could Facebook see the internet as a single page destination? says:

    [...] you’re still sceptical about the single-page vision, how about the fact that 27 per cent of browsing on Facebook is currently done through the homepage/newsfeed? Or that [...]

  13. T10G Blog says:

    [...] The deal marks an attempt by Facebook to maintain dominance in an area that has proved one of its stickiest and most popular features: photo sharing. At the end of last year, Facebook users were uploading more than 250 million photos a day, on average, according to Facebook’s filing with the SEC. The social network’s members also spend nearly a fifth of their time on the site browsing photos, a 2011 comScore study found. [...]

  14. NEWS: Fastagram??? "Instagram Acquired by Facebook for $1 Billion" | City On Clouds says:

    [...] The deal marks an attempt by Facebook to maintain dominance in an area that has proved one of its stickiest and most popular features: photo sharing. At the end of last year, Facebook users were uploading more than 250 million photos a day, on average, according to Facebook’s filing with the SEC. The social network’s members also spend nearly a fifth of their time on the site browsing photos, a 2011 comScore study found. [...]

  15. SocietyOfDigitalAgencies says:

    [...] Inside Facebook: Comscore report coverage [...]

  16. HOW TO: Collect Leads on Facebook Timeline with Page Tabs says:

    [...] for one moment and think about two cold stats about Facebook Pages:In a report from comScore, a majority of engagements with brands occurs within the News Feed and not necessarily on a Page.Stats have shown that well-maintained Facebook Pages with Page Tabs [...]

  17. Facebook Acquires Instagram says:

    [...] its photo sharing features. Users upload more than 250 million photos a day and they spend nearly one fifth of their time on the site browsing [...]

  18. 5 ways to increase customer engagement on Facebook | Degrees of Engagement says:

    [...] day, every day, on Facebook, you’ll only reach about 16% of your fan base, according to a 2011 comScore report.  Seems like a lot of work for a minimum amount of return, doesn’t [...]

  19. What is a “highlighted story” on Facebook? | Social Media at BU says:

    [...] 27% of Facebook Browsing on Newsfeed, Just 10% on Apps (Inside Facebook) By Jenny Mackintosh | Posted in Facebook, How-To's, Social Media 101 | Tagged [...]

  20. HOW TO: Collect Leads on Facebook Timeline with Page Tabs says:

    [...] a report from comScore, a majority of engagements with brands occurs within the News Feed and not necessarily on a [...]

  21. The Next Facebook News Feed is Here says:

    [...] the majority of a users time on Facebook is spent in the News Feed, this is a crucial part of the Facebook platform and user experience. [...]

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