Facebook Posts Seen by 3 Times as Many People as we Think

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A new study revealed that Facebook posts are usually seen by three times as many people as we think.

Stanford University researchers conducted the study which found that users of Facebook drastically underestimate the amount of people that look at their content. They use factors like how often their friends post, how many likes, comments and shares they receive to gauge their estimate.

"Posting to a social network site is like speaking to an audience from behind a curtain. The audience remains invisible to the user: while the invitation list is known, the final attendance is not," Stanford assistant professor Michael S. Bernstein said. 

"Feedback such as comments and likes is the only glimpse that users get of their audience."

Facebook has the data to show how many people look at each post, but they only reveal this information to advertisers and not ordinary users.

They said they do not reveal this information to everyone because it would affect how much people post and what they post.

Researchers found that users post based on the types of reactions they have had in the past to previous posts.

The study looked at 220,000 users in a month. It found that users were able to reach 35 percent of their friends with each post and 61 percent of their friends over the course of a month.

"I think this is something we need to better understand," Bernstein said. "When I post content, do people not react to it but enjoy it? Do they not react to it and it is grating on them over time and they choose to unsubscribe? We don't know."

Researchers are looking to conduct an in-depth analysis of social media and people's reactions to it in the future. 

Sources: Daily Mail, BuzzFeed