New Facebook Study Reveals Motivation Behind Facebook Visits

By: Shawn Hess - June 29, 2012

Published this month in the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, a new Facebook study suggests personality type determines how much time you spend on the social networking site and how often you visit.

At the root of the study, its authors hoped to uncover the reasons why so many users flock to the site and spend time there, or rather, what are the motivations behind the phenomenon.

The study by the University of Connecticut’s Daniel Hunt and Archana Krishnan and Michigan State’s David Atkin found that much of what caused people to spend time on Facebook could be traced back to personality and a desire to be entertained.

The authors comment on the results from the study:

“The entertainment motive was shown to be the most powerful predictor of how much time participants spent on Facebook,”

“If individuals are using Facebook for entertainment purposes, this differs from cases where it’s being used to maintain relationships. For example, individuals may use Facebook in a similar fashion to a blog or to promote their viewpoints.”

Looking at motivational factors that could encourage individuals to spend time on Facebook, the researchers found that entertainment and passing time, along with information seeking, to be the top driving forces for visiting the social site. So, in other words, people are just looking to keep themselves occupied and entertained.

While self expression was mentioned in the study a possible factor for visiting Facebook, limitations of the design kept the authors from formulating any theories on how it actually played into the time spent. Oddly enough, maintaining relationships wasn’t found to be the top factor, as many would expect.

Perhaps we overestimate how important staying connected to people 24/7 is. Everybody is different, but constantly making social comparisons between yourself and others has been found to be unhealthy for many, especially in younger populations where ridicule and persecution are common place for those who go against the mainstream.

About the Author

Shawn HessShawn Hess is a staff writer for WebProNews and an expert procrastinator. Follow Shawn on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, and .

View all posts by Shawn Hess
  • Mark D.

    This is a good study and it lets you know that you have to do something entertaining on Facebook to get and keep peoples attention.
    I think something interactive like a video game / puzzle or just a good video would be a good way to promote yourself and/or your company name.

  • Dan G.


  • Harry Fassett

    I guess more “spice girl” videos and pics are in order. :0) Anyway, good study, and very informative.

  • Bob Rodriguez

    This is a broad brush perspective. The phenomenon is multi-faceted. Different people use Facebook for different reasons.

  • Gail R

    I have tried Facebook. Deactivate my account and then activate. I do not spend time on Facebook. I tried to get what the draw is to Facebook and I just don’t get it. I find it invasive. Friends of friends gossip. I went to family court( accountant here) on behalf of a client. There used in court was postings on Facebook. His ex also hacked into the his Facebook account. What post on Facebook can and will be used against you. Scary stuff.

  • Tom Aikins

    Entertainment and self-expression. I guess that’s why so many Thai girls like posting their bikini photos.

  • Wilbert Else

    I am using Facebook less and less. They keep changing how things are and just when I get use to it, it changes. I mainly send out messages about business and less on friend issues. Most of my friends I really don’t know. Most people are using it to market some business and not what it was originally intended for. It use to be something I almost had to go to all the time,,, not anymore.

    • FasFacebook

      i love the old facebook, this new one is very diferent and its more confuse

  • Kevin

    Who paid for whom to write what so they can sell you more…
    So, in other words, people are just looking to keep themselves occupied and entertained. No wonder the IPO lost value. people got bored

  • Poetra

    Nice this blog mr….,, please blgwalkng to my site & follow

  • FasFacebook

    Its true, many people make a facebook work break to check all stuff they follow, i dont see the same love for twitter.

  • OutMaturity

    I have struggled with what I perceived as some level of addiction to Facebook often over the past years. However, I think they are right. A LOT of the reason I check in is just for a chuckle. You never know what you might see or read!

    Thanks for sharing the study!