Are We Sharing Less on Social Media? Yes.

According to an article in The Information via an internal Facebook email, there’s a bit of a panic on at the erstwhile behemoth of social media. People just aren’t sharing much personal, or “original" information anymore. A 21% decrease between 2014 and 2015. At over a billion users, that’s not a small percentage.

Other Platforms Are Shifting
So we decided to dig into some of our historical data from other social media research projects we’ve carried out in the last couple of years. Yes, there is a change. By analysing comments made in online discussion forums and blog post comments, we noted an interesting shift. Of the data we looked at, about 43% of people said they’ve changed what they post to select social media sites. Those being Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Instagram. The change was to share less “personal” information. Below we show a ranking of the personal information people are sharing less of.

 

Where We Share What’s Personal
It would seem people are still sharing personal information, but they’re shifting to where they’re share it. Leading in these is Snapchat, followed by Reddit. Channels consumers perceive as more private, less commercial and likely less monitored. Although that’s far from reality. But it is a matter of perception.

What’s Happening to Facebook, Google+ and Twitter?
Our view is that they are becoming much more general news feeds. The place for sharing news information, humour and related memes. What’s being shared less is vacations, personal crises, what we ate for breakfast (whew!) and family information.

What This Says About Social Etiquette
Remember when it was “cool” to whip out your mobile flip phone at lunch and take an “important” call? Now it’s not cool. Nor is it to have a blue blinking light protruding from your ear. These are examples of social etiquette taking hold. While we can’t definitively say that sharing less personal information on social media is a definite trend today, it does seem to be happening.

What are your thoughts? is this an emerging trend? Oh, and by the way I had a bowl of cereal this morning with sliced banana for breakfast.

 

Article by Giles Crouch - visit his profile on The Well, or get in touch giles@gotothewell.ca

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