What Makes Facebook Posts So Memorable?

A recent study shows that what you post on Facebook may be more memorable than you think. According to the study, people are much more likely to remember Facebook updates than faces or text in books. facebook more memorable than faces

According to Laura Mickes, a visiting scholar at UC San Diego and a senior research fellow at the University of Warwick in England, “Facebook is updated roughly 30 million times an hour so it’s easy to dismiss it as full of mundane, trivial bits of information that we will instantly forget as soon as we read them, But our study turns that view on its head, and by doing so gives us a really useful glimpse into the kinds of information we’re hardwired to remember.”

To conduct the study, Mickes and her colleges set up a memory test in which 200 sentences were taken from different sources (including Facebook) and all posts were striped of emoticons and excessive punctuation and then the sentences were shown to study participants. The participants were then shown 200 sentences (100 of which they had seen before) and instructed to identify which ones they recognized. The researchers found that the participants’ memory was about one-and-a-half times stronger for Facebook posts than for book sentences.

“We were really surprised when we saw just how much stronger memory for Facebook posts was compared to other types of stimuli,” Mickes said. “These kinds of gaps in performance are on a scale similar to the differences between amnesiacs and people with healthy memory.”

The research team hypothesized that status updates from Facebook are easy to remember because they are more closely related to natural speech patterns than sentences from books. These results show that Facebook users should be careful about what they post on social media sites like Facebook. Other users are not likely to soon forget what you post.

Marketing Application:

The results of this new study on Facebook statuses suggest that we as marketers should try to be more casual and conversational when we communicate with our audiences via social media. Our messages will have far more lasting effects if we don’t try to communicate with robotic and rigid posts.

Good Luck Marketing!

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