FriendFeed’s Participation Rate

Statistics Often Lie by Mac Steve on Flickr

4 months ago, I set out to try and determine how many of my followers on FriendFeed were lurking and how many were participating.  At that time, FriendFeed was still very small and I only had 100 or so followers. During my analysis, it seemed that about 1/3 of those following me participated.


Well, FriendFeed is all grown up now with supposedly over 100,000 users and I had been recently thinking if and how the participation to lurking ratio has changed, if at all.  Sure enough, I wasn’t the only one; Robert Scoble suggested that for every user on FriendFeed that is a participant, there are 4.69 lurkers.  Robert came to this conclusion over the past few months by “following EVERYONE who shows up on my view. Those are participants. People who click like. People who leave comments. I am now following 4,601 people according to FriendFeed. Yet if I look at the larger pool of who is following me there are 21,578 there.” Is this accurate? An 80% participation rate would seem like an extremely high participation rate, but in reality, sounded pretty accurate, particularly for FriendFeed when all you need to do is “Like” something to be considered a participator.  But is this ratio accurate for the broader FriendFeed community?

Using FFHolic, I’ve tried to determine this ratio.

I started with checking out Robert Scoble’s FFHolic numbers.  He has approximately 19,462 subscribers and 16,348 “public active subscribers.”  With those numbers, that means 84% of his subscribers are active FriendFeed users.  That comes out to be close to 1 in every 7 people subscribed to Scoble are inactive.

Next, let’s take a look at my FFHolic numbers.  According to FFHolic, I have 498 subscribers and 419 “public active subscribers.”  Incidentally, the percentage is identical to Scoble’s subscribers.

I then took a look at Louis Gray’s FFHolic numbers.  Once again, according to FFHolic, Louis has 4744 subscribers and 3985 “public active subscribers” which turns out to be an 84% participation ratio.

Last, I wanted to check someone that has an audience that is all over the chart and perhaps different then Robert’s, Louis’s or my own.  So, I turned to Mitchell Tsai and edythe‘s subscribers.  Sure enough, the ratio was the same.

Now, I know FFHolic’s numbers are not the most accurate, but they are close enough to give these ratios some thought.  If you ask me, I’d say FriendFeed has approximately an 80% participation rate. That’s pretty amazing.

Do you think these numbers are accurate?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Till next time…

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Categorized: The Social Web