Or maybe you did?
I polled Twitter to see if anyone else noticed an influx of activity and friend requests from Facebook over the holidays, loosely interpreted as the end of December. Meg agreed, and everyone else wisely continued enjoying their seasonal free time.
According to Hitwise, Facebook saw its highest ever daily traffic number on December 24, 2008. This trend mirrors December 2007, when on December 24, Facebook hit its (at the time) high water mark, which it didn’t reach again until July 2008.
Hitwise offers up three logical explanations: weather, boredom and holiday greetings. All of these seem very smart, and probably contribute to the scads of new people joining Facebook over the holidays. I can see free time as a big contributor, since: a) current members have more time to search for and invite their friends and b) invitees have more time to investigate this Facebook thing they’ve heard so much about.
Even though most of us consider Facebook self-explanatory, it’s not. Mainly because computers, not just Facebook, are not to many people. Over the holidays, family members gather. Have you ever been asked by a family member to troubleshoot a home computer over the holidays? Be honest.
My guess is a lot of family gatherings this year (and last) included conversations about how they could easily stay in touch throughout the year with Facebook, complete with a demo from the resident super user.
I spent some time doing that myself this year. Did you? Did you notice a bunch of new-old friends out there on FB around the holidays?
And just in time for all its new holiday users, Twitter has been hit by its first phishing scam and its first account hijacking. I wonder if those were motivated by weather, boredom or holiday greetings? Anyway, typically, this type of activity signals the passage into mainstream, i.e. more users (and n00bs), makes the network more valuable to scammers.
What did you notice, if anything, about Facebook and Twitter usage over the holiday?
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