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What motivates people to share third-party content on Facebook with their friends? Are there differences between why men and women share on the social network?

To find out, Fractl surveyed 2,000 consumers about what they share on Facebook and why they share.

The researchers focused on third-party content: i.e., why people post links/articles/videos from external websites to Facebook and why they reshare external links that other users post.

Some 48% of respondents say the primary reason they post third-party content to Facebook is to entertain their friends.

Just 17% share to address issues they care about, 13% want to evoke an emotional response, and 11% are looking to provide useful information.

Nearly one-third (31%) of respondents say they share content on Facebook to maintain a certain image of themselves.

Users with a large number of friends (500+) are 7% more likely to share content that maintains a certain image of themselves and also 9% more likely to share content that makes them look good.

More than half (52%) of respondents say they avoid sharing third-party content on Facebook that is controversial.

Women are 13% more likely to share content on Facebook in an effort to elicit an emotional response from their friends.

Men are slightly more likely to share something on Facebook in an effort to persuade their friends of their viewpoint.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 2,000 consumers.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji