Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Facebook is a community

Date:
January 25, 2012
Source:
Inderscience
Summary:
Researchers in Italy have used two high-speed computer algorithms to analyze the connections between a large sub-set of the more than half a billion users of the social networking site Facebook to reveal that the system has a very strong structure. The study shows that Facebook has a well-defined community structure that follows a statistical power law in which there are a huge number of people with few connections and a much smaller number with a large number of connections.

Researchers in Italy have used two high-speed computer algorithms to analyse the connections between a large sub-set of the more than half a billion users of the social networking site Facebook to reveal that the system has a very strong structure. The study, published in the International Journal of Social Network Mining, shows that Facebook has a well-defined community structure that follows a statistical power law in which there are a huge number of people with few connections and a much smaller number with a large number of connections.

Emilio Ferrara of the Department of Mathematics, at the University of Messina, has anonymised Facebook data and used two sophisticated algorithms to uncover the hidden network structure across Facebook's millions of users. His research demonstrates that as with many social networks in the everyday world and networks found in nature, Facebook has the three common properties of such systems. First, it demonstrates the "small world" effect, known colloquially as "six degrees of separation" in which it is frequently possible to connect the majority of members, the nodes, of a network with all the other members through a small number of mutual friends or connections.

Secondly, Facebook follows the power law degree distribution where there are many users with a small number of connections. There are thus fewer and fewer users with more and more connections and only a very small number of people with a huge number of connections. Thirdly, Facebook rather obviously manifests as a community of interacting users rather than a collection of individuals.

One might imagine that so much is obvious given the popularity and activity of Facebook, which is the number one web destination and "application" for many millions of people. However, in order to prove that it is indeed a community-type network a statistical analysis of the type carried out by Ferrara was required. With the proof in hand, one might now investigate the structure of the Facebook network in more detail, apply the findings to other social networks, such as Twitter and LinkedIn in order to spot the differences and similarities with a view to informing those who operate and create such networks. The same research might also point the way to a better understanding of natural networks, such as offline human communities, insect colonies or even the spread of emergent diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Emilio Ferrara. Community structure discovery in Facebook. International Journal of Social Network Mining, 2012; 1 (1): 67 DOI: 10.1504/IJSNM.2012.045106

Cite This Page:

Inderscience. "Facebook is a community." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125091053.htm>.
Inderscience. (2012, January 25). Facebook is a community. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125091053.htm
Inderscience. "Facebook is a community." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125091053.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hackerspace Provides Hackers Creative Haven

Hackerspace Provides Hackers Creative Haven

AP (Aug. 27, 2014) HeatSync Labs, a so-called hackerspace in Mesa, Arizona provides members and the public alike a space to allow their creative juices to flow and make their tech dreams into a reality. (Aug 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why A 12.9-Inch iPad Would Make Sense For Apple

Why A 12.9-Inch iPad Would Make Sense For Apple

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) There are two big knocks against the iPad — productivity limits and slumping sales. Here's how a bigger iPad could fix both of Apple's problems. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A new app that can track your heart rate 24/7 is available for download in your app store and its convenience could save your life. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nationwide Time Warner Internet Crash Results In More Bad PR

Nationwide Time Warner Internet Crash Results In More Bad PR

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) The nationwide Internet crash resulted in millions of customers' internet connection to go out for hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins