On the evolution of user interaction in Facebook

  • Viswanath B
  • Mislove A
  • Cha M
 et al. 
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Abstract

Online social networks have become extremely popular; numerous sites allow users to interact and share content using social links. Users of these networks often establish hundreds to even thousands of social links with other users. Recently, researchers have suggested examining the activity network— a network that is based on the actual interaction between users, rather than mere friendship—to distinguish between strong and weak links. While initial studies have led to in- sights on how an activity network is structurally different from the social network itself, a natural and important aspect of the activity network has been disregarded: the fact that over time social links can grow stronger or weaker. In this paper, we study the evolution of activity between users in the Facebook social network to capture this notion. We find that links in the activity network tend to come and go rapidly over time, and the strength of ties exhibits a general decreasing trend of activity as the social network link ages. For example, only 30% of Facebook user pairs interact consistently from one month to the next. Interestingly, we also find that even though the links of the activity network change rapidly over time, many graph-theoretic properties of the activity network remain unchanged.

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Authors

  • Bimal Viswanath

  • Alan Mislove

  • Meeyoung Cha

  • Krishna P. Gummadi

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