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Our herd instinct requires a threshold- 55

October 16, 2010

55

There’s been lots of work done in the area of human herd behavior, but recently some research was conducted at Oxford University to examine the behavior around the download of Facebook applications.

What the research discovered was fascinating; for herd behavior to “kick in”, applications need to reach a certain threshold, once they do, their adoption accelerates.

Unless the application reached the magical number of 55 downloads, it failed to get the attention of the crowd and couldn’t grow in popularity.

This research shows how critical it is for ideas to not just reach the small pool of influencers, because on their own, they simply haven’t got enough critical mass to drive an idea to a broad audience.

This research suggests that just throwing an idea out there and hoping it sticks, isn’t going to work and nor is just an approach to influencers. Somehow, this group right in-between the influencers and mass, is the most important group to consider.

The future of the adoption and spread of communication ideas and beyond depends on the creators and communicators understanding who these people are and how they can be reached and influenced.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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