On social networks people... search!

Tue 14 July 2009 09:01, Bas van den Beld

On social networks people... search!

A very interesting whitepaper by Oneupweb about a eyetracking research they performed shows a very interesting outcome: when on a social network website participants tend to... search...

The research was performed on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The eyetracking images show that the participants where very much looking at the search bar AND were engaged with sponsored ads within the first 10 seconds of their search.

When asked to perform specific searches on brands the participants tended to look at the top results of the search and at the ads next to them.

Oneupweb also looked at searches on Twitter. They didn't compare these with the searches made on YouTube and Facebook because Twitter doesn't have any ads. But some interesting results did come up.

In Twitter for example the focus is very much on the first six tweets in the timeline and the search bar.


The overall conclusion findings by Oneupweb:

  • 65% of participants engaged with sponsored ads within the first 10 seconds of their search.
  • Scan paths do not follow the order of the search result ranks. Often, sponsored ads were looked at before the third or fourth result.
  • There is not a significant difference in fixation duration across the first four results and sponsored ads on both Facebook and YouTube.
  • 50% of participants were satisfied with their brand search on Twitter.
  • Many liked that they could find the most current opinions about that product.

Below you can see some more of the screens from the research. If you want to read the entire whitepaper you can download it from the website of Oneupweb.

Search for Pepsi on Facebook
Search for Pepsi on YouTube

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