Understanding Users Of Social Media

30 03 2010

Harvard Business Professor Mikolaj Jan Piskorski reveals surprising findings:

* Online social networks are most useful when they address real failures in the operation of offline networks: They can address some basic search failures. “It’s hard to know what my friends are up to, but online I can catch up with them quickly.” Online social networks also can improve people’s ability to use offline social networks as “covers.”

* The biggest discovery: pictures. “People just love to look at pictures,” says Piskorski. “That’s the killer app of all online social networks. Seventy percent of all actions are related to viewing pictures or viewing other people’s profiles.” A lot of guys in relationships are looking at women they don’t know,” says Piskorski. “It’s an easy way to see if anyone might be a better match.”

* On Twitter: “Only the people who are willing to put themselves out there publicly in words to people who they may not know will use Twitter. Some people will find this incredibly appealing, others will find this too scary.”

* Myspace is Dead, or is it? Piskorski points out that MySpace has 70 million U.S. users who log on every month, only somewhat fewer than Facebook’s 90 million and still more than Twitter’s 20 million in the U.S. Its user base is not really growing, but 70 million users is nothing to sneeze at.




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