People use Facebook primarily to connect with other people in their network such as family, friends and coworkers. They also use it to follow businesses, brands, celebrities, causes and other organizations, as well as to connect with communities of interest around topics or events. People use Facebook to follow, organize or track events — and to communicate using Facebook Messenger.
Users say they especially appreciate photos and videos from friends (47% say that’s a major reason they use the site), the ability to share with many people at once (46% cite that as a major reason), updates from others (39% cite that), and humorous content (39%). Other aspects of Facebook — such as keeping up with news, or receiving support from the people in one’s network—appeal to a more modest audience of users. Men and women sometimes vary in their reasons for using the site as you can see by this chart from Pew Research Center’s Internet Project.
Facebook continues to have social media’s most engaged users – 70% log on daily, including 43% who do so several times a day. (Source: Pew Research Centre). Familiarity, ease-of-use and a ubiquitous presence across the social media ecosphere have made Facebook the “home base” for most social media activity. It remains the most popular site for those who only use one, and has significant overlap with other fast-growing platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp.
A Facebook Profile is a personal account on Facebook. When you sign up for Facebook you get a Profile. This is a place where you can add friends and family members, communicate on a personal level, and share photos, videos, and life updates. Everyone who joins Facebook gets a Profile. You can only ever have one under your name.
A Facebook Page is a public profile specifically created for businesses, brands, celebrities, causes, and other organizations. Unlike personal profiles, pages do not gain “friends” but “fans” — which are people who choose to “like” a page. Page are ever-evolving with new features added and others taken away (goodbye to seeing your “likes”!) Recent upgrades include changes to analytics, reporting, security, and advertising.
Groups are user-created and have varying levels of privacy and security, much like individual profiles. Users can organize groups around any topic or event they like. From professionally relevant groups to those organized around special interests, the variety is limited only by interest of the users.
Events allow users to organize around a point in time. Security here is fairly customizable, allowing for public, private, and somewhere-in-between events. A key feature here is the baked-in ability to export your Facebook events to other calendars, no doubt increasing usage and reliance on this feature that blends users’ personal and professional lives.
Facebook Messenger is a new way to combine email, instant messenger, and Facebook messages. On iOS, Blackberry, and Android devices, this is a stand-alone app, but it also integrates across the Facebook app and web experiences.
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