Study Shows When Facebook Users Are Most Active

We know that users are spending increasing amounts of time online on Facebook, but when exactly are users the most active?

According to an analysis by Vitrue, a company that develops social media tools for marketers, 3 pm EST is the peak hour that people are reading and posting messages on Facebook. Photo: Franco Bouly/Flickr

What time are most people logging onto Facebook? For the past three years, a social media management company called Vitrue has been examining Facebook activity patterns around brands and companies to answer this question.

The study, which Vitrue recently released, reveals the days and times when certain brands experience the most activity from their Facebook fans.

Earlier this monththe company released a white paper, “The Anatomy of a Facebook Post”. The data provided insights behind post effectiveness by post type (video, image, text), day of week and time of day and is intended to help you define your Facebook publishing tactics.

Their newest white paper, “Managing Your Facebook Community: Findings on Conversation Volume by Day of Week, Hour and Minute”  analyzed Facebook posts made through the Vitrue Publisher from August 10, 2007 to October 10, 2010.

More than 1,500 selected streams representing 1.64 million posts and 7.56 million comments were analyzed to present these findings. However, shares and ‘likes’ were not included in the study.

As Mashable notes, 'Weekday usage is pretty steady, however Wednesday at 3:00 pm ET is consistently the busiest period.' Photo: Vitrue

In general, the study shows that weekdays were busier than weekends. While users engaged with brands most on Wednesdays, they tended to be least active on Sundays. As Mashable notes, ‘Weekday usage is pretty steady, however Wednesday at 3:00 pm ET is consistently the busiest period. Fans are less active on Sunday compared to all other days of the week.’

As Mashable notes, 'The three biggest usage spikes tend to occur on weekdays at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET.' Photo: Vitrue

Vitrue also found that the least amount of daily activity occurred during the wee hours of the morning, when many users are alseep. Likewise, daily activity spiked around mid-morning and dropped off sharply at 8 p.m. ET. As Mashable notes, ‘The three biggest usage spikes tend to occur on weekdays at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET.’

Vitrue discovered, fans posted and commented more on items published during the first fifteen minutes of the hour than on posts published at quarter-past, half-past, and quarter-to the hour. Photo: Vitrue

Interestingly, brand posts published in the morning fared better than posts that went up during the 3 p.m. peak. And, Vitrue discovered, fans posted and commented more on items published during the first fifteen minutes of the hour than on posts published at quarter-past, half-past, and quarter-to the hour.

Fans are less active on Sunday compared to all other days of the week, and most active on Wednesday at 3:00 pm ET. Photo: Vitrue

p.s. The goal for brands on Facebook is to be able to engage with their customers or potential customers and to promote a message. So, following these type of usage patterns is an important part of maximizing the way brands and users can communicate. [Vitrue via Mashable]

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