Is it? Really? Personally I’m doubtful, but that’s the conclusion of our recent social network usability poll in which half of the respondents felt that Facebook was the easiest to use social network. We asked people ‘which social networking site do you think is the easiest to use?’ The full results were:
Myspace – 4%
Facebook – 50%
Twitter – 19%
Bebo – 1%
Friends Reunited – 1%
LinkedIn – 5%
Other – 7%
None of them are easy to use – 12%
Looking at those results, there's clearly a correlation between the voting and the popularity of the social networks in question - no surprise really because the more you use a website the easier you will find it to use.
The difference between social networks and other websites is that the sites themselves are a pass-time, so users can (and are often happy to) learn how to use them properly. On other sites they usually wouldn't be prepared to take the time.
I think the results might be very different if you were to have a sample of people that had never used any of these sites before, and you carried out usability testing on all the sites. Given the simplicity of Twitter’s proposition, I would expect that it’s the easiest to use for a beginner as there's far less to learn compared to say Facebook or any other social network.
I'd be interested to hear what you make of these results...