Why Is Facebook Blue? The Science Behind Colors

It turns out that something as simple as adjusting the color of a button changes user behavior or gets people excited about your product. Buffer’s Leo Widrich explains the importance of color on the website and design of the facebook brand and its blue color.

Why is Facebook blue?

According to The New Yorker , the reason is simple. It’s because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green color blind; blue is the color that Mark can see best.

Not very scientific, is it? That may not be the case with Facebook, but there are some surprising examples of how colors really affect our purchasing decisions. After all, sight is the strongest developed sense in most human beings. It is natural that 90% of an evaluation to test a product is done only by color.

So how do colors really affect us, and what is the science of colors in marketing? As we strive to improve our product in Buffer , studying this phenomenon is key. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting latest research on the subject.

First: Can you recognize brands online just by color?

Before we dive into the research, here are some amazing experiments that show you how powerful color itself is. Based on the colors of the buttons, can you guess which company belongs to each of them?

Example 1 (easy):

Facebook is blue

Example 2 (easy):

Facebook is blue

Example 3 (medium):

Facebook is blue

Example 4 (difficult):

Facebook is blue

These amazing examples from the YouTube designer Marc Hemeon I think they show the real power of color more than any other study.

How many could you guess? (All answers are at the bottom of this post!)

What colors trigger what feeling for us?

Being fully aware of what color leads us to think in what way is not always obvious. The Logo Company has created an amazing breakdown that shows which colors are best for which companies and why. Here are 4 great examples:




Clearly, each of these companies seeks to provoke a very specific emotion:

Why is Facebook blue?

When we feel compelled to buy something, color can play an important role. The analysis company KISSmetrics created an amazing infographic on the science of how colors affect our purchases.

Green stands out for being the most relaxing color that we can use to facilitate the purchase. We didn’t intentionally choose this as the main color for Buffer, although it seems to have worked very well so far.

On a second glance, I also noticed how often black is used for luxury products. Here’s the full infographic:

How to improve your marketing with better use of colors:

All of this can be quite entertaining, but what are some actual decisions that we can apply to our website or app today? The answer It comes once again from some great research done by the good folks at KISSmetrics.

If you are creating an app that is primarily for women, KISSmetrics suggests that women love blue, purple, and green, and they dislike orange, brown, and gray.

In case your application is aimed strictly at men, the rules of the game are slightly different. Men love blue, green and black, but they can do without brown, orange and purple.

In another experiment, Performable (now HubSpot ) wanted know ifsimply changing the color of a button would make a difference in conversion rates.

They began by trying to guess the result of a simple choice between two colors (green and red) and trying to guess what would happen.

“Green connotes ideas like” natural “and” environment “, and given its wide use in traffic lights, it suggests the idea of” moving forward “or moving forward. The color red, on the other hand, is often thought to communicate excitement, passion, blood, and warning. It is also used as the color to stop at traffic lights. Red is also known for being eye-catching. ”

So clearly an A / B test between green and red would result in a green color, the friendliest. At least that was his guess. This is what your experiment looks like:

So how did that experiment turn out? The response was surprising: the red button outperformed the green button by 21%.

The most important thing to note is that nothing else was changed: 21% more people clicked the red button than the green button. Everything else on the pages was the same, so only the button color made a difference.

This definitely got me wondering: if we were to read all the research before this experiment and ask each researcher which version they would assume would work best, I’m sure green would be the answer in almost every case. Not so much.

At my company, we also run dozens of experiments to improve our conversion rates using color changes . While the results weren’t that clear, we still saw a big change. One hypothesis is that for a social media sharing tool, there are fewer barriers to signing up, making the differences less significant.

Despite all the studies, generalizations are extremely difficult to make. Whatever changes you make, treat it as a hypothesis first, and see if the actual experiment supports your ideas. Personally, I am always very prone to go with opinion based on research that I have found. However, data always trumps opinion, no matter what.

Last fact: why are hyperlinks blue?

This is something that has always interested me and it is actually a funny story . In short, it offers the highest contrast between the colors used on the first websites.

Here’s the full explanation: “Tim Berners-Lee, the web’s leading inventor, is believed to have been the man who first made blue hyperlinks. Mosaic, a very old web browser, displays web pages with a gray (ugly) background and black text. The darkest color available at the time that was not the same as black text was that blue color. Therefore, to make the links distinguishable from plain text, but still readable, the color blue was selected “.

I think it’s fascinating that adjusting something as small as color can completely change a result. What have been your findings in terms of colors and marketing? Tell me in the comments.

Solution to the riddle : Example 1: Facebook, Example 2: Google, Example 3: Flickr, Example 4: LinkedIn

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