Jane is… in the john

Over a quarter of Facebook users admit to making status updates while they’re in the bathroom, making location-based services look distinctly less appealing.

Social media marketing firm AIS Media surveyed 500 people, and found that 27 percent admitted to such a dubious form of multitasking.

“While it may seem humorous to survey people about their Facebook usage while in the bathroom, the results underscore the proliferation of consumer social media usage and their strong need to stay connected,” says Thomas Harpointner, CEO of AIS Media.

Women admitted to the practice to a greater degree than men, with 54.4 percent of female respondents saying they did it compared to only 45.6 percent of males – possibly because men are less likely to have both hands free.

Facebook says usage in the bathroom was greatest among the 30-49 age category.

“We know that Facebook penetration in the US is above 43 percent,” says Dr Edward E Rigdon, professor of marketing in the J Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.

“I imagine most people carry their phone with them, in pocket or purse. People receive emails on their phone alerting them to Facebook messages or postings, and many people respond by reflex.”

As AIS is a marketing company, one wonders what it plans to do with this information. With advertisers always keen to pitch products that match their users’ immediate needs, we may have to expect to see a lot of ads for toilet paper popping up on our screens from now on.