Users look at Facebook and Google+ the same way

An eye-tracking study has found that Facebook users and Google+ users look at their respective social networks in almost the exact same way.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

EyeTrackShop recently conducted an eye-tracking study of 54 individuals comparing their use of Facebook and Google+. It essentially found that Facebook users and Google+ users read their homepage in almost the exact same way.

As you can see in the image above (via All Things Digital), both Facebook and Google+ users begin by examining the main column where all the content is located. They then jump to the left-hand column (list of categories) before settling on the right-hand column (alerts and extras) as they scan the less important parts of the page. Not only is the order almost identical between the two social networks, but so is the amount of time spent reading each section.

The study also found that at approximately five seconds into their session, 50 percent of participants dedicated one second of their time to at least one Facebook ad. When the same ads were overlaid on Google+, the users responded similarly.

In short, Google did a very good job ripping off Facebook's design. You could also say that Facebook users are not that different form Google+ users, despite what the latter may insist.

See also:

Editorial standards