The Personality of Popular Facebook Users

Daniele Quercia, University of Cambridge
Renaud Lambiotte, Imperial College
David Stillwell, University of Nottingham
Michal Kosinski, University of Cambridge
Jon Crowcroft, University of Cambridge

We study whether having many Facebook “friends” is associated with specific personality traits. More specifically, we test whether popular users are the ones whose personality traits either predict many offline (real-world) friends or predict propensity to maintain superficial relationships.

We found that popular users:
1) Are extroverts (as per a personality test called Big 5);
2) Aren’t the self-monitoring “types” who are able to adapt themselves to new forms of communication, present themselves in likeable ways, and have propensity to maintain superficial relationships.

Also, at population-level, we report, for the first time, a clear linear relationship between number of contacts and Extraversion. These findings have theoretical implications (on, e.g., the nature of Facebook relations) as well as practical implications (on the design of, e.g., marketing campaigns or social-networking privacy tools).

For more, see our full paper, The Personality of Popular Facebook Users.