More lurking, less sharing on Facebook

Social media interactions can thrive when users share more. Thus, when sharing is down on Facebook, the company is looking to boost it:

Surveys show users post less often on the social network, which relies on users for an overwhelming majority of its content. In the third quarter, market researcher GlobalWebIndex said 34% of Facebook users updated their status, and 37% shared their own photos, down from 50% and 59%, respectively, in the same period a year earlier.

Facebook users still visit the network often. Some 65% of Facebook’s 1.49 billion monthly users visited the site daily as of June. But these days, they are more likely to lurk or “like” and less likely to post a note or a picture…

So Facebook is fighting back with new features. Since May, the social network has placed prompts related to ongoing events at the top of some users’ news feeds, aiming to spur conversations. The prompts are partly based on a user’s likes and location, according to Facebook and companies working with Facebook…

Facebook has introduced other features to encourage sharing, including new emojis that give users a wider range of expressions beyond “like.” In March, Facebook launched “On This Day,” a feature that lets users relive and share past posts.

The article notes that isn’t necessarily a big problem for now – Facebook is expected to announce a jump in revenue – but it could be a larger issue down the road if the social media site is seen as boring. If users aren’t gaining new knowledge or reacting to interesting things posted by people they know, why should they keep coming back?

It would be important to find data to answer this question: is the decrease in sharing on Facebook limited to this one social media source or is it down across the board? This could be an issue just facing Facebook which then could be related to its particular features or its age (it is ancient in social media terms). Or, this might be a broader issue facing all social media platforms as users shift their online behavior. Users have certainly been warned enough about sharing too much and social norms have developed about how much an individual should share.

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