Movie theaters top the 20 most-common places people use Facebook

2 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Facts, News

When it comes to where people are pausing to check their Facebook status, post a selfie, or simply kill some time, Regal Entertainment Group ($LON:CINE) Theaters rules the world with more than 42 million "were here" counts. It makes sense, too: have ever noticed what everyone is doing when they've grabbed some popcorn and chosen a seat at the theater? That's right, they check Facebook.

Why "Were Here" Matters

In 2012, Facebook ($NASDAQ:FB) launched its "were here" count for businesses with Facebook pages. It measures how many check-ins and mobile device location shares that brand has accrued over time via status updates, selfies, comments, etc. It's a more accurate measure of foot traffic than voluntary check-in data, because it also includes things such as selfies and status posts that match up with a business' location.

It stands to reason, then, that businesses looking for real-world foot traffic would be interested in this metric. It also provides a fascinating look at where people are going and when they're stopping for selfies, status updates, and comments on the world's largest social network.

Subscribers who'd like to see the top-250 businesses when it comes to foot traffic can click here for the full dataset.

The Top-20 "Were Here" Businesses in the World

Username

Were Here Count

1

RegalMovies

42,052,264.14

2

Starbucks

36,928,330.25

3

McDonaldsUS

32,315,313.00

4

McDonalds

32,272,260.17

5

amctheatres

28,533,997.14

6

OliveGarden

27,410,698.00

7

applebees

26,900,929.13

8

24HourFitness

24,924,594.13

9

cinemark

24,724,674.63

10

Chilis

23,699,282.13

11

hilton

23,046,802.75

12

texasroadhouse

20,937,647.63

13

walmart

20,064,341.83

14

BuffaloWildWings

18,993,415.38

15

LAFitness

18,813,626.71

16

Disneyland

17,473,494.75

17

redlobster

17,216,798.71

18

OfficialChuckECheeses

16,309,841.17

19

planetfitness

15,353,728.63

20

crackerbarrel

14,815,579.00

Making sense of the top

The top-20 list of businesses that rank for the most Facebook "were here" counts reads a lot like the top retail businesses in the world. But there's also a more important commonality here: they are all businesses where customers have a moment to check their phones. While it may seem that people are checking their phones virtually everywhere, these are the businesses where people stop and go on Facebook more frequently compared to others.

Movie theaters are a place people have a few moments in a chair with little else to do, so it's not terribly surprising to see RegalMovies, AMC ($NYSE:AMC), and Cinemark ($NYSE:CNK) all fall within the top-10 businesses.

Restaurants — Starbucks ($NASDAQ:SBUX), McDonalds ($NYSE:MCD), Olive Garden ($NYSE:DRI), and Applebees ($NYSE:DIN) — make up the bulk of the remaining top-10 location types. This isn't terribly surprising either, given the number of selfies and food shots that populate Facebook feeds. They also tend to be locations when people have a moment to pop open Facebook as they enjoy a latte or Big Mac. And it certainly doesn't hurt that Starbucks and McDonalds both offer up free WiFi to patrons.

Gyms and hotels do well when it comes to "were here: counts too; after all, people like to announce to their social media friends that their either getting healthy or hitting the road. 24 Hour Fitness ($24HOURFITNESS) graces the top-20 with close to 25 million "were here" counts, followed by LA Fitness ($LAFITNESS) with almost 19 million and Planet Fitness ($NYSE:PLNT) with 15 million.

A scant few retail establishments made the top-20, but among them were two American favorites: retail giant Walmart ($NYSE:WMT) and breakfast / shopping institution Cracker Barrel ($NASDAQ:CBRL), with 20 million and almost 15 million "were here's" respectively.

Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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