A comparison study of user behavior on Facebook and Gmail


Shen, J.; Brdiczka, O.; Ruan, Y. A comparison study of user behavior on Facebook and Gmail. In Computers in Human Behavior (CHB), Volume 29, Issue 6, pages 2650-2655, November 2013.


Email is one of the most important communication media to date, and millions of Internet users around the world spend the bulk of their time writing and reading electronic messages. The growing popularity of Social Network Sites (SNS) as a communication medium motivated us to explore the relationship between user behavior on SNS and email. In this paper, we collected objective, privacy-preserved behavior data from participants that were both active Facebook and Gmail users. We show that a large proportion of social interactions still occur through email messages, while participants tend to be more emotional on Facebook. We found that producing more content on Facebook does not necessarily decrease or increase the production of emails. By utilizing the quantitative analysis of usage data instead of surveys, we show that user behavior is likely consistent across SNS and email in some aspects, for example, users with more Facebook friends seem to email to more people, Facebook and Gmail share similar trend of “happiness”.

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