Eyetracking study reveals how people look at your Facebook profile

Mashable worked with EyeTrackShop, a startup that runs eye-tracking studies for advertisers, to study what people look at on the profile pages of popular social networks, including Facebook and LinkedIn. The results are some fascinating heat map images and some interesting tips on what are the most important part of people’s profile pages.

The study used the webcams of 30 participants to record their eye movements as they were shown profile pages from Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Klout, Reddit, Digg, Tumblr, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Pinterest at 10-second intervals.

Here are Mashable’s observations:

  • Profile pictures matter. The site feature that attracted most attention on Klout, Facebook and StumbleUpon was the profile photo.
  • Job title garnered more attention than profile photo on LinkedIn. In fact, it got more attention than anything else on the page.
  • Who you know gets noticed. Even if for no better reason than their placement on the page, people do look at those little thumbnails of friends that appear on many social profiles. You can see this in the data from the Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Klout profiles.
  • Content on top wins. The further something is down a page, the fewer number of people look at it. This was true on both content-focused profiles such as Pinterest and Digg as well as socially focused profiles such as Facebook. On the Twitter and YouTube profiles, the effect was less extreme.