We have some internal research that shows our users scroll much further down the page on mobile vs desktop. The page lengths are exactly the same in terms of the amount of products displayed - 3 across and 12 down.

When describing this behavioral difference I call it the 'Facebook Phenomenon' as in users just scroll endlessly without fully absorbing the information presented to them.

My question is, is there a UX/analytical term for this behavior? I made up the phrase 'Facebook Phenomenon' where I work but wondered if I'd subconsciously copied something I'd read.

  • It's behaviour spurred on by the discovery aspect of newsfeeds and infinite scrolling. It is indeed sometimes referred to as the facebook phenomenon, like here goldstandardbrain.com/brain-tech/…. The actual behaviour is usually nameless because it ties in to a lot of human behaviour. This article is a fun read: garrisoninstitute.org/blog/… Jul 12, 2018 at 15:23
  • @Wanda that's great thanks, I think I'll use FOMO 'fear of missing out' to help me explain this behavior to colleagues. Feel free to create an answer for the rep!
    – sclarke
    Jul 13, 2018 at 7:36

2 Answers 2


It would be interesting to see the desktop and mobile page design side-by-side and look at the analytics or eye-tracking on this to confirm you hypothesis.

If the theory is that users have a fear of missing out on content, is there any reason why this applies to mobile and not desktop? Is it possible to tease out by observing a user looking through desktop and mobile pages and see the difference in behaviour?

My theory is that the navigation and content on a desktop design is typically easier to work out, whereas on mobile webpages often it is easiest to scroll through than to figure out how if they have seen all the content that they want. One way to test this is to do two different desktop webpage designs, one that is essentially the same as the mobile webpage but scaled to desktop aspect ratios, and the other one customized for desktop. This will allow you to compare some of the factors that may have influence on how users consumes content on the page (there may be others as well).


I have been in this situation before when I was doing a UX research for a eCommerce client. They had a huge product line and the users were finding it difficult to find the products because of a lengthy vertical scroll. However, the horizontal scroll was limited to 3-4 at the maximum. While doing a user interview to understand the users painpoints I realized that the users were tired of scrolling and as you said just went about the routine without absorbing much from the product displayed on the website. This is something I called or maybe read it somewhere as 'Fatigue Phenomenon'. Our team was hired to fix this issue and we ultimately had to revamp the entire website and make it user friendly so that users could find the product without much difficulty.

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