New survey reveals women’s Facebook habits

Did you know that Trade Press Services is a women-owned business? As such, we have a special interest in how women select and consume media, especially new social media like Facebook. You can imagine that a recent survey conducted by Lightspeed Research for Oxygen Media on the Facebook habits of women 18-34 caught my eye.

The poll questioned more than 1,600 women about their Facebook use. The results may surprise you:

More than a quarter (26 percent) admit to getting up in the middle of the night to check their Facebook messages and status updates, while 34 percent say that logging in to the FB is the first thing they do in the morning. Nearly four in 10 (39 percent) are self-described “Facebook addicts.”

Watch out, Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone: 44 percent of women surveyed use Facebook for TV and music reviews.

You too, CNN: 48 percent of those polled use Facebook to stay up on the news more than they use traditional media outlets.

Sadly, while 63 percent of those polled use Facebook for business networking, a shocking four in 10 women polled think that it’s okay to post photos of themselves intoxicated. Maybe even more surprising, three in 10 think that photos of themselves making lewd gestures are appropriate.

What does this say about the power of Facebook and social media in general?

First, the grip that social media hold over young women is impressive—that four in 10 describe themselves as “addicts” speaks to the scale of the Facebook phenomenon.

Second, the poll shows the real threat that Facebook and social media pose to traditional and even online news sites like CNN.com. With nearly every news site offering a “share this on Facebook” link with each story, Facebook in many ways becomes a giant news aggregator. And not only that—it’s an aggregator that tailors news to what interests Facebook users and their friends. This means people who use Facebook for news may end up with a biased view based on their own tastes and not what’s truly newsworthy.

All media and publishers need to pay attention to results like this and determine how social media factors into their plans. The warning sign is clear: Ignore Facebook at your own peril!

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