Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Looking good on Facebook

Date:
April 23, 2012
Source:
Inderscience
Summary:
A European study of students using online social networking shows that users tend to make new connections via their own more attractive friends regardless of whether they are male or female.

A European study of students using online social networking shows that users tend to make new connections via their own more attractive friends regardless of whether they are male or female.

Writing in the International Journal of Web Based Communities, Christina Jaschinski and Piet Kommers of the University of Twente, The Netherlands, explain how they have carried out a preliminary study to try and understand better how relationships develop online. "Social network sites have become essential for managing relationships in today's life," they explain. "Therefore, it is increasingly important for scientists to understand how impressions are formed and connections develop in the virtual world."

The advent of the so-called "Web 2.0," the interactive and sharing version of the world wide web, which includes blogs, video and photo sharing sites, social bookmarking, social media, microblogging sites, such as twitter, and online social networks including Google+ and Facebook, has enabled the sharing, connecting and collaboration of people all over the world with very little technological friction. This has grown considerably especially since the marketing of relatively inexpensive smart phones and the growth of broadband internet connectivity.

People meet, connect and interact in these online communities by using a profile as a representation of their identity, the team explains. Unfortunately, the formation of impressions about a person online almost entirely lacks non-verbal cues other than those based on their profile photo and the status and content of their friends' profiles. Users can control their photo, but not how it is perceived but more importantly they cannot control the profiles of other users. This latter point is not so different from the social networks we form offline, where a newcomer may judge a person based on the company they keep. At least offline the person has the opportunity to project themselves in a more comprehensive manner and deflect such judgements by their own actions and behaviour rather than just that of their friends and associates.

The team recruited 78 students who use perhaps the most popular online social network, Facebook, apparently fast approaching 1 billion users, to investigate how the attractiveness of Facebook friends affects the impressions formed of friends of friends by users. The study simply involved mocking up Facebook profiles and asking the students to carry out a "hot or not" type assessment based purely on the visual appearance of the user's profile photo within the page. The team found that someone is considered more likeable and seen as a potential friend when they are associated with good-looking friends.

The findings could have implications not only for social scientists hoping to understand these new modes of interpersonal behaviour but might also be used by companies and other organisations hoping to benefit from social networking applications. Additionally, the extension of traditional networking for marketing and job hunting offered by the online world is increasingly important and users are more aware of how they are creating an impression, good or bad, in the online world.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Christina Jaschinski and Piet Kommers. Does beauty matter? The role of friends' attractiveness and gender on social attractiveness ratings of individuals on Facebook. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2012 (in press)

Cite This Page:

Inderscience. "Looking good on Facebook." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120423104526.htm>.
Inderscience. (2012, April 23). Looking good on Facebook. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120423104526.htm
Inderscience. "Looking good on Facebook." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120423104526.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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