The Usage Psychology of Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook


I don’t know much about psychology, but below I have brainstormed my own quick thoughts on aspects of why users are using these various services. These services allow you to broadcast what you are doing. This is a follow-up to my post about the metrics of ‘me, me, me!’ on these services.


  • easy to tweet
  • hope for a retweet
  • hope for a reply
  • people include URLs and wasn’t til last release that twitter embedded videos, photos, etc
  • 3rd-party apps allow easy input to twitter
  • celebrities to follow
  • follow/stay up-to-date on friends
  • discovery/bored
  • unstructured data input
  • my life history and interesting stuff


  • 600 million users
  • easty to update status
  • 3rd-party apps make easy to update your status
  • hope for likes and comments
  • stay up-to-date on friends
  • discovery/bored
  • unstructured data input
  • my life history
  • connect your account to 3rd-party services to easily find friends in those services


  • easy to checkin
  • specials
  • focus on location
  • my travel history
  • ‘tips’ are useful
  • see where friends are; what they are doing
  • game/leaderboard; points (7-days)
  • surprise factor: random badges
  • tips nearby are useful
  • discovery: explore around where you are to find stuff to do
  • easy to share via twitter/facebook to tell my friends that aren’t on foursquare
  • structured data input
  • see who else is where you are… or aren’t
  • mayor status
  • friends (both users follow each other), and followers
  • 3rd-party apps help get check-ins
  • there are comments, but seem rarely used
  • no ‘like’ buttons — user can get that on facebook/twitter if wanted. Replaced with game mechanics

Some notes on GetGlue (an app for checking-in to movies, tv shows, music you’re listening to, etc)

  • Personal note: my friends aren’t there
  • Personal note: If I was more into TV, maybe I’d use it more?
  • Personal note: my friends wouldn’t be jealous of me watching a movie or show — they are out living life; the game of life is doing as much as possible, not being a couch potato
  • “Guru” is like foursquare’s “Mayor”
  • show details, no tips; ‘Guru’, ‘Superfans’, ‘Fans’

What are your thoughts?