Facebook opened up a new layer of social interaction between friends and acquaintances (and enemies, for that matter) when it became ubiquitous. New research from NM Incite reveals the top reasons for both friending and de-friending on Mark Zuckerberg's 800-million-strong platform.
The number one reason someone adds a friend on Facebook comes as no surprise—82% of the time, it's because they know the other person in real life. 60% of the time it involves mutual friends, while only 11% of friend requests come as a result of business networks. Some 7% of users add friends to boost their friend count. The average user has 130 friends.
But why do people remove friends? It doesn't happen often, but when it does, 55% of the time it's due to offensive comments. 41% of the time it involves not knowing the other person well enough—an odd reason as at some point both definitively agreed to be friends. 39% of Facebook users report their "friends" try to sell them something. Only 20% do it because they don't actually interact with that person. 11% defriend as a result of breakups and divorces.
On Facebook, men are more likely to seek professional networking and dating—a questionable mix—while women are all out coupon-hunting and expressing their creativity.
Overall, 89% of people use Facebook for family contact while just 16% do so for dating. 28% try to find a job while well over half give feedback on products and services, be it good or bad (negative and positive feedback is, somewhat surprisingly, split evenly).