I frequently go between posting publicly and then privately on my Facebook page. The former goes to everyone, obviously, and the latter goes to my 100 or so friends. Facebook, to me, has been a place where I can goof around with my friends, but I also know it’s important to connect with others there too. So I have subscriptions enabled and post a few things publicly.
Yesterday morning I posted something publicly. Then I posted something I meant to do privately (it was a hockey-related link), but it went public. I got to thinking about how people react to things on Facebook if they’re public or private posts. So I decided to do a one-day experiment and post everything publicly. I posted links and status updates (which included about my recent leg pain and my need to use the gym), but they all were public. And I made sure the posts were as they would be if I posted something on Twitter (which is always public).
I got a few likes from friends, but I didn’t get nearly as many as normal. Plus there was only one comment posted the entire day on anything I posted, which is another odd thing for my page. Maybe it was just the day, but I decided my friends didn’t want to interact with public posts as much as anything I post “behind the curtain.”
Now this isn’t to say my friends shy away from public posts every time. They know I sometimes post things publicly and have commented openly on those, including when I post links to this blog. But I found the experiment interesting, even if it is completely unscientific. If I wanted to do a real study, I would do this for an entire week. But there are too many things I normally post privately to my friends (including my whereabouts) that I couldn’t sustain that for a week.
Do you comment differently on Facebook if you know the post is public and anyone can see it? Do you even check if it’s a public post? Tell me about how you interact with public versus private posts on Facebook in the comments.