How Different Social Networks Are Used (With Graphs!)
Because our application combines so many different social networks, we have some unusual insight into exactly how users choose to interact with different networks. I was a bit curious about this, so I (Zane Claes, lead programmer for Streamified Inc.) whipped up a web dashboard in our new API that shows the usage of the networks in graph format.
About this data
This data is collected from many thousands of users on different platforms (including, for example, our web app, iOS app, desktop app, etc.) Although our “v2 API” (built on Node.js and MongoDB) is only a few weeks old, and thus this data is relatively recent, it appears to be largely consistent with the activity I saw in the v1 API (collected from ~300k users over 1 year). Finally, I would like to make it perfectly clear that no sensitive data has ever been recorded by our servers. We keep track of the usage of our application, but I could not even tell you the most basic information about when/what was posted/liked/etc.
Social Networks Logins
With Streamified, users can attach one or more social networks. Here is the distribution. It is worth noting that, in the application, the networks are presented in the following order: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google Reader, Google Plus, Readability, Instapaper, Pocket. I would be interested in randomizing the order to observe the effects of login distribution, but have not yet done anything of the sort.
No surprise that Twitter gets the most posts made to it, or that Facebook is a close second.
A much more appropriate way to look at the data, though, is to consider how many posts were composed in relation to the number of people who logged into that network. In other words, how apt are people to share on each network?
Replies to Existing Posts
Note that Instagram supports replies (and likes, for that matter) but not composing new posts with their API, so you won’t see it in the above graph, but it does appear here. On the other hand, LinkedIn and Tumblr are not considered to support “replies” (I won’t get too far into why in this post), so they have disappeared from this graph.
Again, looking at this compared to logins…
“Liking,” “Retweeting” and “Reblogging” of Posts
Again, Instagram is present but LinkedIn is missing (though Tumblr is back). Note that the “like” action is misleading as it applies only to Facebook and Instagram; these actually map to Twitter Retweets and Tumblr Reblogs, within the context of our API. It is true that Tumblr has its own “Like” action, but for reasons I won’t get into here, we map this against a different feature within our API. What is important here is that the button for each of these actions resides within the same spot in our application. Still, Tumblr may seen an in-apt comparison due to the fact that Reblogs are not likely to be as popular of an action (due to reposting the content) as a simple “Like.”
In any case, what was surprising to me is just how popular Instagram is here, but I suppose it speaks to the “visually addictive” nature which has allowed Instagram to achieve such great success (eg, we all love scrolling through pretty pictures, and pressing the “like” button is quick and addictive).
I’ve tried to keep my commentary and analysis out of this post as much as possible in order to make it as numbers-oriented as possible. Hopefully you find it useful, or at least mildly informative.
Do you want to see more data? Let us know what you’re looking for, and we’ll see what kind of charts we can put together for future blog posts.