Have you ever wondered what people first look at when they view your social networking profile? EyeTrackShop, a startup company that specializes in eye-tracking technology to help advertisers determine the efficacy of their online ads, sought to find out the answer to that question by using their software to study the viewing habits of social network users, giving us a peak into how friends, potential dates and even prospective employers see your social profiles online.
EyeTrackShop gathered 30 participating individuals and equipped them with webcams which would record their eye movements and patterns when viewing profile pages on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Digg, Tumbler, Klout, Reddit, StumbleUpon and other such sites.
While the study was by no means exhaustive—the sample size of 30 is simply insufficient to make concrete conclusions—a few key observations can still be gleaned from the research.
For example, on social sites such as Facebook, StumbleUpon and Klout, EyeTrackShop’s tracking software showed that profile photos got the most attention. While on LinkedIn, profile photos didn’t get as much attention as job titles did.
Facebook, Google+ and Twitter all had one thing in common—surveyed web users were observed to have directed their attention to the small thumbnails of friends on social profiles on these sites. Web designers and social media marketers will also be well advised to note that the study showed that web users are more likely to concentrate their attention on the topmost section of the page. The further content was located down a page, the less likely people were to look at it at first glance.
With Facebook’s recent overhaul to their profile pages, and YouTube undergoing a similar design and interface overhaul, it’ll be interesting to know how viewing habits will change as well. However, one thing’s certain, Enform will be on top of whatever changes social media has to offer just so we can take care of your business better.