In the last few days, a quiz from VonVon kept appearing in my Facebook feed, "What Are Your Most Used Words on Facebook." My friends kept taking it. After pulling data from Facebook, the quiz site creates a word cloud of the words that most often appeared in a person's status updates.
As someone interested in social media marketing, I wondered two things: Why was this quiz so popular? And what does VonVon get out of the deal?
So first, I took the quiz, if you can really call it that. It offered the kind of appeal that any sort of diagnostic that promises to reveal something about oneself does. Will my word choices in my status updates somehow reveal something about me that I don't already know? Will it reaffirm my suspicions that I am an interesting and cool person?
You sign into the "quiz" through Facebook and VonVon pulls a bunch of data from your profile. I noted that it pulled more than just my status updates. It also pulled contacts, my birthday and other data.
Then the word cloud popped up. I must admit that the world "I'm" and "me" were in there, which just goes to show you that the critique of narcissism so often leveled at social media might not be too much off the mark. My husband's name is in there. My daughter's name. The word "beautiful." The word cloud made me feel like I am a super-predictable, slightly cheesy, mom-type person.
An article on MTV.com suggested that most people who take the quiz use the word "me" more often than any other word in their status updates. The MTV article also said that 14 million people have taken the quiz.
Obviously the "quiz" appeals to some psychological desire to know ourselves, even if the results aren't that interesting. It also reveals a disturbing trend in marketing: content doesn't have to be great to draw a large audience as long as it is interactive.
What does VonVon do exactly? Why create these quizzes? I was shown advertising while I waited for my results. Their website claims that the site gets 100 million hits a month, which is a considerable audience. The company is based in Korea and their website claims that they create content with reach in many different languages and among many different cultures.
What are they doing with the data that they are collecting about their visitors?
I'd be curious to see VonVon use the data they've collected about status updates and let us know what words people use more often in different places or at different ages. I think there could be some insights that could be gleaned from that kind of data.