The University of Winchester, in collaboration with first direct, has found that, although they may seem quite similar, active Facebook and Twitter users perceive content on these two channels quite differently. The researchers have separated the types of social media users into 12 groups and here’s an overview of the main characteristics of their behaviour.
The Ultras are those who use social media as their main channel to talk to friends and families and when they are compelled to stay away from them, they start to feel isolated. There are also Deniers, who keep insisting that social media does not control their lives and believe that they can survive without it. It turns out, however, that failing to get access to their most preferred network for long periods makes them feel nervous and solitary.
The Peacocks use social networks to show everyone how popular they are by attracting as many friends, followers and likes as possible. The Approval Seekers behave similarly on social media, as they count the likes and comments they get after posting a message and consider this as evidence for their popularity. Any lack of response makes them feel anxious and they are constantly on the lookout for friends’ reactions.
Another group is the Dippers, who have Facebook and Twitter accounts but rarely visit the platforms and it takes days or even weeks before they tweet or post an update. The Virgins are those users making their first steps into the social media world, who often find difficulty in understanding and dealing with how Facebook and Twitter actually work. There are also Lurkers, who hardly ever appear online and monitor only what others are posting on social networks and almost never take part in conversations, fearing that they have nothing interesting to say, but they do keep complaining publicly about the boring stuff that is posted.