Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dynamics of Facebook: Structure of the network drives friends to congregate into many small, highly interconnected communities

Date:
November 8, 2012
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
For the first time, the dynamics of how Facebook user communities are formed have been identified, revealing surprisingly few large communities and innumerable highly connected small-size communities. This work could ultimately help identify the most efficient way to spread information, such as advertising, or ideas over large networks.

For the first time, the dynamics of how Facebook user communities are formed have been identified, revealing surprisingly few large communities and innumerable highly connected small-size communities.

Related Articles


These findings are about to be published in EPJ Data Science by Italian scientist Emilio Ferrara, affiliated with both Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, USA and his home University of Messina. This work could ultimately help identify the most efficient way to spread information, such as advertising, or ideas over large networks.

No previous work has attempted to analyse the community structure of Facebook as a proxy to understanding real world communities at the same scale.

The author elected to analyse Facebook with the mathematical tools typically used to study complex systems in order to uncover its dynamics. First, Ferrara acquired a snapshot of the structure of the users' friendship network using several techniques of statistical sampling applied to the anonymised public profiles of Facebook users. He then validated his approach to detect communities by comparing the outcome of several statistical methods and by using various algorithms.

He found that Facebook communities emerge as a result of the network's structure, which is based on creating networks of friends. It therefore has little to do with how individual users behave. Ferrara also realised that only few large communities emerge. Instead, users tend to aggregate in small-sized communities that are extremely interconnected. This type of structure is known to optimise the efficiency of communications among users. Indeed, short paths of communication can connect any pair of users, even if they belong to completely disparate communities.

Ultimately, this approach could be applied to verify a social theory known as Granovetter's "strength of weak ties," whereby loose interconnections among users yield better opportunities and more efficient communication channels.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Emilio Ferrara. A large-scale community structure analysis in Facebook. EPJ Data Science, 2012; 1 (1): 9 DOI: 10.1140/epjds9

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Dynamics of Facebook: Structure of the network drives friends to congregate into many small, highly interconnected communities." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108131450.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2012, November 8). Dynamics of Facebook: Structure of the network drives friends to congregate into many small, highly interconnected communities. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108131450.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Dynamics of Facebook: Structure of the network drives friends to congregate into many small, highly interconnected communities." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108131450.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 9 out of 10 excessive drinkers in the country are not alcohol dependent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. 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:

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