The popularity of a Facebook application mostly depends on whether you are male or female, and if it meets the criteria of being “cool”, says a latest study.
The research was conducted by Professor Rebekah Russell-Bennett and Dr. Larry Neale from the Queensland University of Technology.
They studied the value of applications such as ‘Superpoke’, ‘Mousehunt’ and ‘Scrabble’ which enable people to interact with social networking sites and other users.
According to Russell-Bennett, when it came to discovering what made social networking applications successful, it seemed women wanted to express themselves, while men enjoyed the thrill of social competition.
She added that “Facebook users want to possess and share cool applications that enhance their standing within their network of friends. For women this is about self-expression, for men it is about who is the best.”
Russell-Bennett highlighted the importance of the study by saying that from a commercial view, organisations were struggling to understand how to develop a cool application and identify the features that would encourage people to recommend cool applications to friends.
“Popular applications can attract tens of millions of views and uses a month, and given that applications are relatively cheap to develop and are distributed virtually cost-free, this makes them an attractive substitute to traditional advertising.”
“Anecdotally we know that companies are spending a lot of money on applications but they aren’t necessarily working,” she said.
Now that they are armed with the knowledge of what motivates people to use and recommend applications, companies could better tap into the social networking market, Russell-Bennett added.
The results of this study will be presented at the UK Academy of Marketing conference in Leeds later this month.