According to Facebook’s Newsroom, Facebook now has 936 million daily active users on average for March 2015. And it turns out, there is scientific research that explains this widespread use of Facebook. Liking and commenting on posts, sharing links, posting status updates; these simple actions provide a psychological satisfaction for users, and here’s why:

Liking: According to the Pew Research Center, 44% of Facebook users “like’ posts at least once on a daily basis. One of the reasons of the reasons for this is that it helps us make contributions to a conversation. A “like” is the online version of a nod, a “yes”, or an “I agree”, which makes the reader feel good for contributing their opinion. Another reason is that a “like” is a wordless statement about ourselves. The content we choose to “like” can actually predict our race, gender, political party, and other traits, so what we “like” says a lot about ourselves. Lastly, “liking” a post lets us express virtual empathy. Studies have shown that those who are more empathetic online are also empathetic in real life, and “liking” a post is a way to show this empathy

Commenting: People choose to comment on a post when they have something to say. This is actually more satisfying for users than “liking” because it makes people feel connected, and it feels more personal than a single “like”

Updating Your Status: posting a status update makes users feel more connected and involved, but only about 10% of users update their status daily. The reason for this is that when someone receives little or no comments or “likes” on their status, they feel more lonely and left out, which discourages users to post anything in the first place

Sharing Content: Users tend to share engaging, funny, or interesting content that appeals to strong emotions on Facebook. A study done by the New York Times shows some of the major reasons that people choose to share content: 49% of users shared content that they thought would entertain their friends, 68% shared content that would explain their personalities or things they like, 78% shared content to help build or strengthen relationships, 69% shared information that helped them feel connected to the world, and 84% shared information on issues or causes that were important to them