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The People Who Give Your Social Media Its Buzz

Yahoo, research firm uncover social 'power sharers'

Illustration: Brian Taylor

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You’ve probably got at least one information virtuoso in your life—someone who keeps your Facebook newsfeed from devolving into a humdrum history of diaper victories and birthday wishes, or tweets on the buzziest celebrity slipup. But according to new data from Yahoo and market research firm Added Value, just 15 percent of social networkers fall into this elite category of “power sharers.”

The two firms surveyed 1,500 people between the ages of 15 and 64, and found that 56 percent of social media users share something from news or entertainment media at least once a day through a broad range of online platforms, including email and instant messaging. Power sharers, however, go beyond that—sharing more, and including at least two types of content (video/text/photos) in their weekly output.

The profile of these multimedia power sharers? Male (61 percent), young, and politically and socially liberal. “They’re much more involved and passionate than the [average] user,” says Yahoo market researcher Keen Wilkins. “They perceive themselves as experts.” They’re also insecure. “Anecdotally, we heard some people saying, ‘If I post something and nobody comments on it, I kind of feel like a loser,’” adds Yahoo’s Shana Pallotta.