As space enthusiasts worldwide tuned in online to watch and follow the historic landing of the NASA rover Curiosity on Mars earlier this week, Facebook found that men were significantly more interested in the event than females.
Although Facebook didn’t provide percentages for the male to female ratio, it said men ranked 6.08 on a buzz scale of one to 10, compared to an overall score for women of 4.76.
Using a tool called the Talk Meter, Facebook examined how much buzz the Mars landing generated across the social network and noted trends in age, demographic and location. It tracked search terms such as “Curiosity” and “Mars” and conducted searches during the time period that the rover landed around 10:00 p.m. PT.
“We looked at the increase in the fraction of chatter containing these terms compared to the baseline, which is what the chatter was for these terms one week before,” a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable. “We take the difference in fractions and hit it with a logarithm scale (1-10).”
Although teenagers expressed the least interest in the landing, Facebook said buzz surrounding Curiosity occurred across all adult age ranges. It was most popular among the 25 to 34 age group.
Due to the local timing, chatter was significantly higher in the Western part of the United States with California, Oregon and Washington state bringing in the most general interest on Facebook. But Washington, D.C. — the home of NASA’s headquarters — brought in similar scores to California, and spikes were also seen in Utah and Colorado.
Meanwhile, U.S. Facebook members cheered on their home country’s journey to Mars more than any other nation, bringing in a buzz score of (5.45). Facebook users from Canada (5.37) showed the second most interest, followed by Costa Rica (5.29), New Zealand (4.94), Australia (4.88), China (4.54) and Israel (4.53).
European countries didn’t top the list because most were asleep while the events took place, Facebook noted.
To put those scores in perspective, Facebook did previous analysis on other major events such as the Royal Wedding in the U.K. (8.4), the U.S. Super Bowl (8.7) and the Hunger Games premiere (6.4).
Did you use social media to follow the rover landing? Which sites did you use? Let us know in the comments.