When Facebook Users Move

Facebook users 18 and over who move check in on Facebook 16 percent more than they normally do around the time of their moves, according to a recent study by Facebook IQ.

Facebook users 18 and over who move check in on Facebook 16 percent more than they normally do around the time of their moves, according to a recent study by Facebook IQ.

Facebook IQ also found that:

  • More than 20 million U.S. Facebook users moved to different states in 2014, with 16 percent of those users aged 18 through 24 and 24 percent aged 25 through 24.
  • Some 12 percent of Asian-American Facebook users moved to new states last year, compared with 10 percent of African Americans and 9 percent of U.S. Hispanics.
  • The most moves occurred in March and April, but Millennials had stronger tendencies than older users to move throughout the calendar year.
  • The higher rate of check-ins mentioned above was driven largely by men (23 percent) and users 55 and older (31 percent).
  • Mobile activity and non-video activities (sharing links, photos, posts and notes) remained stable around the time of users’ moves, but they posted 24 percent fewer videos and connected to the social network less often via desktop.
  • Topics frequently mentioned by moving users included setting into their new cities and neighborhoods, obtaining new phones or phone numbers, making new friends, real estate agents, moving day, new addresses, installations, furniture and housewarmings.
  • Packing is discussed often on Facebook, including “start packing,” “finish packing,” “last-minute packing” and “hate packing.”
  • Women 18 through 34 discuss housewarming 1.9 times more than the same time in the previous year, while men in the same age group mention it only 0.9 times more.
  • Men 18 through 34 mention installations 2.7 times more, while that figure is only 1.3 times for women.
  • Men and women aged 35 through 54 mention installations 4.1 times more and 2.4 times more, respectively.
  • Men 55 and older mention renovation 2.1 times more than the same time the year before, while women do so 1.2 times more.


Facebook IQ offered the following suggestions for marketers:

Moving signals a point of market entry for many marketers. It is an opportunity for people to try new things, switch brands and services, learn their local neighborhoods and start anew in many ways. In fact, people who move make moving-related purchases for up to seven months around their move (3.2 months before, and 3.8 months after) and spend around $9,000 per household on goods, services and financial products.

People who move are more likely to switch brands for baby products, dishwashing detergent and household cleaner and more likely to spend on home entertainment systems, kitchen appliances, laptops, smartphones and digital cameras than people who have not moved. It is also more likely that a person who just moved, as compared to someone who has not just moved, will purchase a car within 12 months of moving.

  • Spark trial: Moving indicates not only a new life stage but also a point of market entry. It’s a period of significant financial investment, with those who’ve moved buying new furniture and home goods, taking on installation and renovation projects and entertaining friends and family in their new residence. Facebook is not only a place people share these life changes—it is also a place to update to a current address. Brands can use Facebook to complement their traditional media and direct-mail efforts to spark trial around products, services and experiences for new residents.
  • Expand people’s worlds via mobile: When people move, they tend to be open to trying new things and meeting new people, as Facebook check-in and chatter data indicate. The mobile phone—likely a new one procured upon moving—and Facebook allow those who’ve moved to readily discover new things and friend new neighbors. Brands can position themselves at the center of this discovery and provide much-needed familiarity amid the unfamiliar by accelerating the settling-in process and making a new home feel less foreign.
  • Ease moving’s challenges: Although moving can be one of the most stressful and exciting events in a person’s life, the responsibilities and concerns that come with it vary by gender and generation. Brands can ease the process and position themselves as an ally in this transition by addressing people’s moving experience in a personalized way. Brands can also add levity or meaning to what can be an arduous process, poking fun at the universal dislike of packing, for instance, or making moving a time to reflect on memories made or yet to come.

Readers: Have you moved recently? If so, how did your changes in Facebook activity match up with Facebook IQ’s findings?