Does a Facebook Pages study debunk the Tipping Point?

I guess most of you reading this post by now have come to assume that the influencer model of word of mouth (made ubiquitous knowledge thanks to Gladwell’s tipping point) is pretty much the infallible truth. That said, here’s a recent study on Facebook pages that may question that.

No single person is accountable for the popularity of a Page; instead, we consistently see that roughly 15% of all fans arrived independently and started their own chains (which merge together as the rest of the fan base takes shape). These patterns hold for Pages with a few thousand fans and for those with more than 50,000.

I know what you’re thinking. Of course, it’s got nothing to do with one individual but rather the few (Law of the Few): the connectors, the mavens and the salesmen. Do “15% of all fans” comprise “the few” then? Or…

Pages grow if people are easily engaged by the content, not because of the actions of a couple trendsetters.

Do influencers really matter then or are they most effective only when sharing great content? hmm… I also can’t help but wonder if this holds true with Twitter’s asymmetric model as well. I always believed Twitter’s phenomenal success has hinged on the Influencer model; specifically thanks to obsessive celebrities and twitterstruck journalists.

What do you think?

Read the Facebook blog post here and check out the entire analysis here.

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  1. Jessica

    Great Info! Thanks for the post!

  2. Michael Lee Stallard


    Thanks for sharing this. It seems to me its degree that matters. If the degree of the influencer’s influence is high and the degree of the message’s stickiness is high, then dissemination of an idea will be quick and widespread. High influence/low stickiness or low influence/high stickiness will result in slower and narrower dissemination. Just one person’s opinion here but I believe influencers will always be critical in the short run but less so in the long run when stickiness tends to win out. I think you are spot on about twitter being influencer driven. The content length limitations of twitter make it difficult to develop stickiness.

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