Social Addicts: How do Hardcore Facebook, MySpace and Twitter users differ?

We all know this person: constantly showing up in your Facebook news feed with status updates, added friends and wall comments. The "stickiness" of most social sites is unrivaled by any other type of site, a point that the behavior of hardcore members really drive home. These "Social Addicts" check their beloved site constantly and have helped encourage similar behavior from other users.

Knowing how different Facebook and MySpace are in terms of design, functionality and usage, how much do "addicts" of these social networks differ? You may have read some of our posts on BehaviorMatch before, but this analysis essentially highlights the online behavior that is specific to a particular group of users. This analysis is designed to help with media buying, but in the case of social networks it can also help define the psychographic makeup of the group, and how "addicts" generally use their favorite social site.

The table below shows the sites that MySpace and Facebook Addicts* visited substantially more than the average internet user. So what do these users do when they aren’t getting their social network fix?


Facebook vs Myspace Addicts

  • To be fair, the MySpace list is filtered. An untouched list of the top twenty most popular websites among MySpace addicts would consist entirely of sites focused on modifying personal profile pages.
  • After scrubbing out a majority of the sites focused on MySpace layouts, it seems that the hardcore users of this MySpace are still primarily teens, as sites focused on proms (meprom.com), shoes (kicksaholic.com), and Alternative music (warpedtour.com) bubble to the top of the list.
  • It’s no surprise that hardcore Facebook users have a high affinity to some sites supporting Facebook applications, but the applications they interact with the most is telling of their online interests. It appears gaming (socialgn.com), dating (sexappealhq.com), music (garageband.com), and interacting with friends (quizapps.com) are all a core online activity to Facebook addicts.

MySpace and Facebook are two well established sites with massive audiences. Twitter, on the other hand, is a much smaller, growing site devoted to communication. In some ways it could be seen as the direction the social web is heading"¦and it’s also highly addicting. So what do the sites that Twitter addicts visit say about the future of the web, and how does this compare to the two more traditional social web players?


twitter addicts - where else do they go?

Comparing the three, some really compelling trends are visible. While it’s not shocking that sites like twhirl.org (a site that offers "tweet" enabling software) rise to the top of the list, some of the others show that these users are most interested in socializing.

  • MySpace addicts are somewhat vain — focusing heavily on establishing and fine tuning their online personas by customization of their personal profiles
  • Facebook addicts focus more on engagement — interacting with applications, music and people both on and off the platform
  • Twitter addicts are most interested in fostering communication and exploration — sites that allow a user to understand what their contacts are doing, provide a platform for content discovery and encourage users to actively participate are the most likely places to find hardcore twitterers.

* In this analysis Facebook and MySpace addicts were defined as any user who logged into either site at least 21 days in February. Twitter addicts were defined as anyone who went to their twitter home page at least 10 times in a month. The less stringent qualifications for Twitter addicts was necessary because of the multiple channels used to access the site (mobile, desktop applications).

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