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The Story of Facebook in 2018

Sourced from: quintly 

Introduction

This study analyzes the performance of Facebook profiles between January 1 and December 31, 2018. This analysis observes the performance of 94,000 profiles and more than 105 million posts.

The Facebook study provides detailed insights into the use of the platform. In particular, it focuses on the analysis of six different topics:

  • Fan distribution
  • Post types used
  • The length of Facebook posts
  • Posting on weekdays versus weekends
  • Reaction usage and development over time

To make all findings applicable to your specific Facebook page, we have set up different groups based on a range of profile sizes based on the number of Facebook fans. To provide you with more insights into our data set, the following chart shows the distribution of Facebook pages by size which we analyzed.

More than 50% of all Facebook posts are links

Facebook users are given the option to craft posts in the form of links, photos, videos or status updates. Every post type gets distributed differently by the algorithm and is perceived differently by users.

After analyzing 105 million posts over the whole of 2018, it was found that 54% of all posts are link posts. This is by far the biggest share, followed by photos with 29%.

Small profiles post more pictures

Of course, all profile clusters work a bit differently and also make use of post types slightly differently. As mentioned previously, most posts are link posts but let’s see in a bit more detail how the analyzed clusters work.

What is interesting to see is a significant drop in the use of images from the first three profile buckets compared to the bigger three clusters.

Also, the largest analyzed profiles (the Leonardo DiCaprio’s and AirBnB’s of the world) use videos most frequently in their posts to tell stories. In this page group, videos make up to 22% of the posts. In contrast, the three smallest clusters (1 fan – 100k fans) posted videos just 11% of the time.

Now, let’s head over to the interaction part of the study to answer the question ‘which post type tends to lead to the highest engagement’.

 

Videos beat links in the battle for interactions

Next, we have a closer look at post types and which one of them tends to receive the highest interactions on Facebook (Note: Interactions are defined as the sum of likes + comments + shares).

Keep in mind what we found out earlier: link posts make up 54% of all 105 million analyzed posts.

By looking at all four formats, it can be seen that videos outperform all other post types by far! Images are in second place, receiving 35% fewer interactions and link posts, the most frequently used post type, trail far behind.

Facebook post length – less is more!

The next part of our study looks at the length of Facebook posts.

Posts with 50 – 150 characters represent the highest share in our data set and make up 40%. Posts with a length of 150 – 300 characters have the second biggest share. That means the biggest number of posts have about as much text as a tweet on Twitter!

Consequently, that means very short, very long or posts without captions at all, make the smallest share with just 34% combined.

As always, results are heavily dependent on individual profiles. Therefore, we decided to segment our findings in groups. Through this, you can compare your own page with the average of the specific profile group and identify similarities or differences with your own posting behavior.

Where do you find yourself? Can you relate to the averages? Do you have anything to share? Let’s discuss these, but first, continue reading. There are more interesting insights to come.

 

23% of posts are published on weekends

As we all know, timing on social media matters – a lot! That’s why we thought it was worthwhile to compare weekday and weekend posts.

Let’s take one step back first and let’s try to understand the setup.

If distributed evenly, 14.23% of posts would be posted every single day (100% / 7 days = 14.23%). This number multiplied by two equals 28.46%. This is five percentage points more than the 23% we discovered earlier.

This indicates a slightly higher posting trend during weekdays.

More important than looking solely at the distribution of posts is to look at their performance, by which we mean the interactions they achieve.

 

13% higher interactions on weekend posts

Our study of 105 million Facebook posts during 2018 found that people, on average, tend to interact more on weekends than they do during the working week. In contrast, more posts are being published during weekdays.

Users eager to use ‘new Reactions’

When the new Reactions, such as ‘Sad’ and ‘Wow’, were launched in 2016, usage picked up slowly after the first peak. People did not seem to be eager to use them on a regular basis. Since then, they’ve continued to grow steadily in popularity.

Now, more than two years later, these more varied ways to share sentiments have picked up and Likes “just” make up 81% of all Reactions.

To provide data for a deeper understanding on how interactions evolved during the year, we also look at how Reaction use developed in 2018. We noticed a slow, but constant increase for the ‘new Reactions’, suggesting the Like is losing its popularity over time compared to the increase of use in ‘Love’ and ‘Haha’ Reactions.