Yet Another Facebook Story: Social Browsing Greater Than Or Equal To Web Browsing

Mark Kirby, a senior consultant at ReD Associates, writing on a Fast Company blog, points to some interesting studies about time spent on Facebook.
Intense Facebook use among certain demographics drives these numbers higher and higher.

In a recent study of 21-29 year old females, we saw a surprising number spending as many as five hours per day on Facebook, with much of that activity being what the respondents nearly all called “nosing around” (we’ll call it “social browsing.”) This largely consists of seeing what your friends are or were up to: Reading status updates, clicking and watching video links, shuffling through photos of friends’ nights out and comparing those nights to ones own.
To people familiar with Facebook, this behavior, of course, is not unexpected. But what we found most interesting about it was that, for this group, social browsing had largely replaced all other forms of Web browsing.
…When your customers are coming to your Facebook page as a first-choice source of information, you need to be prepared to meet them there. And once they’re there, you want to make it very easy for them to share their experience with their fellow social browsers–their peer group.

I’ve been advising my clients that Facebook, like AOL of old, is a parallel Internet. Thanks to the site’s robust platform that encompasses video, photos, microblogging, geolocation, etc., there’s little reason for many users to ever leave the friendly confines of Facebook.
Naturally, social browsing has huge implications for brands. But how many brands can you think of that really “get” Facebook and have made the kind of investment in the platform that is truly necessary? To me this is another example of the Internet moving much too fast for brands and their agency counterparts.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.