Reasons for being ‘de-friended’ on Facebook

21 Dec 2011

If you’re thinking about whittling down your Facebook Friends list, then consider a post that tells your contacts how much you hate the world, why they should all support a particular political party or buy your self-published book.

Such posts may have your Friends click on ‘Unfriend’ in a hurry. That’s according to research from NM Incite, a Nielsen McKinsey company, which reveals that 55pc of Facebook users will remove someone from their Friends list – or ‘de-friend’ them – because of an offensive comment he or she posted.

The research, which looked into why users of the social network add or remove individuals as Friends, also found other reasons why a user would de-friend someone. These include not knowing them well (41pc), posting depressing comments (23pc), lack of interaction (20pc) and political comments (14pc). Updating too often, too little or having too many friends is also a factor for some Facebook users.

“At one point I had 650 friends, I knew everyone of them in the ‘real world’ but I deleted over 400 of them, not because of offensive comments or a lack of engagement but because these were people I did know and had lost contact with, probably for good reason,” said Facebook user Ben in response to the research. “In the end, there was just too much noise.”

The top reason for adding someone as a Friend is because the user knows them in real life, as cited by 82pc of research participants.

Women are more likely than men to add someone as a Friend because they know the person in real life, whereas men are more likely than women to add a Friend based on business networks or physical attractiveness, the research shows.

Men are also more likely to de-friend someone who tries to sell them something, while more women than men are offended by inappropriate posts.

Following is an infographic outlining the various reasons for adding or removing Facebook Friends and a breakdown of social media activity by NM Incite:

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