NEWS RELEASE: “Facebook News Feed: Relevance or Noise?”


New study: “Facebook News Feed: Relevance or Noise?”

With the recent changes to its News Feed, Facebook has inundated users with information, study shows. Many users are bewildered and unable to filter out irrelevant information. Females are more at risk to feel overwhelmed by the information presented. 

New York, Oct. 9, 2012 – Researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology and Pace University have found a large number of Facebook users are feeling overwhelmed with the information presented in the new Facebook News Feed.

“The results of this study indicate that the new design of Facebook’s News Feed has increased the flow of incoming information and that users are often overwhelmed with all of the information presented to them,” the researchers write. “In particular, gender has a significant effect on perceptions of information overload; females on Facebook experience a greater perception of information overload than males.”

One of the objectives of the new study was to reveal the effect of gender on the perception of Facebook information overload. Previous studies reported that, in an organization, females are less likely to have upper management positions and are therefore required to process less information and hence are less vulnerable to perceptions of information overload. However, the new study revealed contrary results. The researchers found that females were more at risk to feel overwhelmed by the information presented on Facebook’s News Feed.

The authors of the new study are Regina Collins, Starr Hiltz, and Harshada Shrivastav of New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Catherine Dwyer of Pace University.

“The results suggest a significant relationship between the frequency of users’ visits and perceptions of Facebook information overload,” the researchers say. “Highly active users are more at risk of having to process large amounts of information, making them more vulnerable to information overload on Facebook.

“The results also imply that the redesign of Facebook’s News Feed has widened its focus by including updates from friends of friends, thereby generating enormous amounts of information,” they say. “A regular user is forced to rummage through huge amounts of incoming information to find relevant posts.”

The paper is available at http://aisel.aisnet.org/amcis2012/proceedings/HCIStudies/18/

About New Jersey Institute of Technology

NJIT, New Jersey’s science and technology university, enrolls more than 9,558 students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. http://www.njit.edu/

About Pace University

For 105 years Pace has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. http://www.pace.edu

Media contact: Bill Caldwell, Pace, 212-346-1597, wcaldwell@pace.edu

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