9 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2008
Date Written: December 5, 2008
Scholars, advertisers and political activists see massive online social networks as a representation of social interactions that can be used to study the propagation of ideas, social bond dynamics and viral marketing, among others. But the linked structures of social networks do not reveal actual interactions among people. Scarcity of attention and the daily rythms of life and work makes people default to interacting with those few that matter and that reciprocate their attention. A study of social interactions within Twitter reveals that the driver of usage is a sparse and hidden network of connections underlying the "declared" set of friends and followers.
Keywords: social networks, attention economy, twitter
JEL Classification: D70, L15, M30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Huberman, Bernardo A. and Romero, Daniel M. and Wu, Fang, Social Networks that Matter: Twitter Under the Microscope (December 5, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1313405 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1313405