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February 10, 2012 at 4:02 PMComments: 6 Faves: 0

Psychologists Identify the Facebook and Twitter Personality Type

By Erin Froehlich More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Id and Ego Blog Series

In  "A tale of two sites: Twitter vs. Facebook and the personality predictors of social media usage", lead study author, David John Hughes of the University of Manchester, sought to answer questions about the newest means of socialization and communication in our time - social networks.

What type of person uses facebook as opposed to twitter, or twitter as opposed to facebook to spread information?

Why do some people tend toward one social networking outlet and not the other for socialization?

What he found was two distinct personality differences between the different social networking camps and perhaps, in them, the root of the unique impact social networking has on each of us.

There are Facebook personality types, people whose personality is matched most harmoniously with the slower paced, more diverse and open platform of Facebook. There are also Twitter personality types, people whose personality is more in line with Twitter's face-paced, concise and defined platform.

To determine which was which, a group of 300 participants was recruited. They recorded their age, gender and social network preference and then were given the psychology standard "Big Five" personality trait test. The results were use to compare a facebook user's and twitter user's average levels of:

  • openness (adventurousness) - tendency toward experimentation or trying new things
  • conscientiousness (responsibility) - tendency toward disciplined behavior
  • extraversion (talkativeness) - tendency toward sociability
  • agreeableness (kindness) - tendency toward compassionate behavior
  • neuroticism (negativity)- tendency to experience negative emotional states

In addition to this though, they were also evaluated their sociability and intellectual appetite.

The results?

Facebook Vs. Twitter Personality

Average Facebook Socializer

Average Twitter Socializer



More Sociable

More Open

More Neurotic

Less Conscientious

Use Facebook to Alleviate Loneliness

Use Twitter to Procrastinate

Average Facebook Information Seeker

Average Twitter Information Seeker


Not so much ------>

High Conscientiousness

Low Neuroticism


As a facebook user myself..... :(





Photo Credit:

main blog pic - dkalo

"average facebook user" - herwordskill

"average twitter user" - quannum

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  • Wow, very interesting! I am a facebook user and I don't even have a twitter. It makes sense about the older and younger part. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law are older than me and they really utilize twitter. I still haven't gotten into it, but hey maybe as I get older I may use one. ;)

    On the other hand, my dad and mom use facebook but not twitter and they are in their 50's...but maybe they are outliers in the study because they didn't have facebook when they were younger. If that makes sense?

  • Well, you know, it's an average. The finding aren't going to apply to everyone. It's more of a trend or tendency than a truth. :)

    Interesting thought - I wonder how much of these differences are actually certain types of people being attracted to a certain type of site. I'd bet that these sites influence our personality as much as we impose our personalities on them. I think the differences in site's structure that lends itself to a lot of these characteristics - the things you can do with facebook as opposed to twitter.

    I'd be interested to see a comparison between the perceived personality of a person on facebook and that same person on twitter. Maybe it's just that facebook makes people seem more neurotic and sociable and twitter makes people seem more open and intellectual.

    Chicken or the egg....

  • "Interesting thought - I wonder how much of these differences are actually certain types of people being attracted to a certain type of site"

    Now that you mention that...I wonder that too. twitter moves so fast and its easy to get little snippets of info instead of searching for it and having a conversation on facebook. So I wonder if people who just want quick fast info and not a conversation are more likely to use twitter vs. facebook. Hmmmm.

    I also wonder if people who are more likely to be reserved or quieter in social situations like twitter more while those who are very social/outgoing like facebook more.

  • This blog brings up a lot of great things to think about, thanks for posting, Erin!

  • I don't care for Twitter because I prefer having more space to write my thoughts.

  • I agree and I would add that I don't like having my images hidden the way they are on Twitter. I also appreciate Facebook's method of organizing content. With Twitter everything moves so fast, Facebook is more a browsing experience.

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