2019 CONISAR Proceedings - Abstract Presentation
Infobesity: Do Facebook Users Actually Use Those Bookmarked Posts?
One of the ongoing challenges for users in the digital age is the issue of information overload. People are being inundated with too much data. This is compounded by the fact that many people access information from various formats, devices, and platforms (Eppler & Mengis, 2004). While there may not be one singular definition of information overload, it occurs when the vast amounts of relevant information available exceeds the individual’s ability to effectively process and use it (Dean & Webb, 2011). The feeling of overload is usually accompanied by a loss of control and a sense of information glut, or “infobesity” (Bawden & Robinson, 2009).
Infobesity has become even more prevalent with the ubiquitous nature of social media, especially Facebook. Although reports show a recent decline in Facebook’s user growth models, the number of daily active users (2.2+ billion users) far exceeds other social media platforms such as Instagram (1 billion), LinkedIn (567 million), and Twitter (335 million) (Statista, 2018). As of fall 2019, Facebook remains the market leader in social networking sites. Within Facebook there is a central feature of the site called the News Feed, where users can view, access, and engage with content posted by their friends, colleagues, and family (DeVito, 2017).
With so much information being uploaded, it can be difficult for users to decide which posts to read and which to ignore. Facebook anticipated this need to bookmark posts for later viewing and introduced the Save feature in 2014 to allow users to save a post, page, or event.
These saved posts will appear on the left menu under Saved. The saved files are listed in chronological order.
This research will be an exploration on how users interact with their saved posts. Do Facebook users actually use the saved posts, pages, and events at a later time? How often do users actually see and remember to open the saved files? A seminal study conducted in the early 2000s was conducted on how users save information on the web. The Information School at the University of Washington entitled their research the “Keeping Found Things Found” of KFTF study (Bruce, Jones, & Demais, 2004). The KFTF study utilized a functional analysis and identified 13 methods that users employed to keep, or save their data. These methods including bookmarking websites, emailing links to themselves, and printing out the desired web pages (Bruce, Jones, & Demais, 2004). While this study was insightful, there have been no follow-up studies on how users saving information on social media sites like Facebook.
The purpose of this study is to examine how individuals save information, why they choose to save it, and how often they access those saved files. We are also interested in analyzing the reasons why they choose to save certain files over others. This exploratory research will seek to find if users “saving information” behavior, methods, and preferences will be different when compared to the findings of the KFTF study over 15 years ago.
Recommended Citation: Kim, P., (2019). Infobesity: Do Facebook Users Actually Use Those Bookmarked Posts?. Proceedings of the Conference on Information Systems Applied Research, v.12 n.5251, Cleveland, Ohio