Social media personality types

Defining the personalities of social media.

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Everybody hase very different experiences of social media: in our sense of connectedness, visibility, popularity, in what we think it is for and why we use it. These differences ought to matter not only to any user experience or interaction designer, but to any business interested in commercializing or profiting from social media. I’ve attempted to catch these differences in personality and put them in a slideshow. These personality types are an attempt to distill out just some of the different user experiences had on social media into personality types..

It has always seemed to me that the conventional market segmentation of user types (influencers etc.), while perhaps identifying broad categories of users, fails to account for the user experience. Surely, influencers do not relate to social media as influencers; followers as followers; and so on… These definitions aren’t grounded in a framework of motive or intention, and therefore fall short of explaining behavior based on the user’s competency as a social media participant.

Social Media Personality Types

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: sxd ixd)

This slideshow attempts to sketch a view of users based on personality differences that takes mediated communication and interaction into account (I don’t know of any personality models that have been customized to non face to face interactions). This means adapting personality types for the unique ways in which social media represent us to ourselves, represent others, present and facilitated social activities, and so on. It means taking personality types and anticipating what, in social media, would engage them, motivate them, and compel them. As a sketch, it is incomplete and intended to kick off discussion.

Photo by: ThisParticularGreg

Adrian Chan

Adrian Chan is a social media expert and social interaction theorist at Gravity7. You can follow him on twitter at /gravity7

4 comments on this article

  1. Detrus on

    Are these user types the result of real life personalities or reactions to weird new ways of communication, crappy interfaces and crazy communities?

    If you can’t get the big picture about a user’s internet behavior I don’t see how a reorganization of currently available statistics could make a big impact.

    I thought it was difficult to understand user behavior based on my own traffic statistics because I don’t see how the same user behaves on a different web site.

    Even those seemingly simple labels can’t be accurate unless stats about a user are combined from multiple services that he uses. OpenID could be pretty valuable in this situation.

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