Part two: Facebook and the new communication circles
In my last post, I discussed how Facebook has expanded our contact circles and that the ‘new’ communication channels created by the social networking platform are used differently depending on who is being contacted. Today, I will describe what these channels are, and how they are used.
According to the Ericsson ConsumerLab study conducted between 2005 and 2011 among Swedish teenagers aged 15-19, we found 5 channels used for communicating with different circles on Facebook. They are:
Chatting is the preferred way of communicating with close friends who are online. It is considered quicker and easier than sending a message.
Commenting on a post
Only relatively close contacts are allowed to comment on updates. It is considered weird and somewhat disturbing if a very remote contact writes something in relation to for instance a new status update or a changed profile picture. That makes the person seem too interested and somewhat ‘creepy’.
Liking a post
Liking a post is considered to be more casual than commenting on it. This means that a greater number of contacts are able to like a post than to comment on it. Liking doesn’t require that the person is part of the innermost circle of friends. Then again there are also contacts which are considered too remote even just to like an update.
Writing a personal message
Personal messages are used for longer messages about subject matters that are of a personal nature, or at least not intended for everyone to see. Personal messages are not exchanged in a casual way. They require a specific purpose and therefore the number of contacts that they can be used for is limited.
Writing a message on the wall
Wall messages are used for casual exchange about things which are not of a serious nature. A widespread usage area for the wall is birthday greetings. When it comes to birthday greetings, almost anyone is welcome to write on the wall. For other types of usage that is however not the case. Writing a message on the wall to ask how a peripheral contact is doing in general can be considered weird and uncanny.
See the infograph on the New Communication Circles in PDF format here in case you missed it on Friday.