Inside Facebook Blog has put together some statistics on Facebook Status updates; some of which is more relevant to America, but there were some global insights which I found quite interesting.
Whilst competing for users, Facebook integrates well with Twitter. You can see the effect of the conversation about Twitter versus the integration with the following graph. Conversation, (e.g. “Twitter’s down again”) seems to be on the decline, but integration is increasing (judging by the growth in statuses which include the RT – or Re Tweet tag).
The RT and @username tags aren’t likely to make much sense to non Tweeters on Facebook, so I expect that there will be a way to sync only original posts in future. I wonder whether the decline in Twitter mentions is down to increased server capacity.
The strain of virus formerly known as “swine flu” produced “a huge media frenzy at least as big as avian flu a couple of years ago, and mad cow disease before that,” as the post appropriately notes. The friendlier-to-pigs term, “H1N1,” has managed to infect Facebook, occurring as frequently as “swine flu” this past fall.
The effects of media hype and seasonal illnesses can be seen from the following graph, which shows a winter trend in status updates for Flu type terms, along with a huge spike in status updates for the terms Flu and Swine flu, which followed from the heavy coverage in the news.
I quite like this graph. It shows the frequency of occurrences for two common swear words in Facebook status updates.
Interestingly, people seem to be becoming more well behaved, as the number of mentions has declined over the year. Perhaps people are becoming more aware that content published on the Internet may come back to haunt you in later life… or maybe it’s because mum’s on Facebook now!
Edited: December 23rd, 2009