Tweeting to Feel Connected: A Model for Social Connectedness in Online Social Networks

International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction (IJHCI), 29(10), 1-18, 2013

47 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2013 Last revised: 25 Mar 2016

Christoph Riedl

Northeastern University - D’Amore-McKim School of Business; Northeastern University - College of Computer and Information Science; Harvard University - Institute for Quantitative Social Science

Felix Köbler

Technische Universität München (TUM) - Information Systems

Suparna Goswami

Technische Universität München (TUM) - Information Systems

Helmut Krcmar

Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM)

Date Written: January 11, 2013

Abstract

Social connectedness is an indicator of the extent to which people can realize various network benefits and is therefore a source of social capital. Using the case of Twitter, we develop and test a theoretical model of social connectedness based on the functional and structural characteristics of peoples’ communication behavior within a online social network. We investigate how social presence, social awareness, and social connectedness influence each other, and when and for whom the effects of social presence and social awareness are most strongly related to positive outcomes in social connectedness. Specifically, we study the concurrent direct and moderating effect of two structural constructs characterizing peoples’ online social network: network size and frequency of usage. We test our research model using data (n=121) collected from two sources: (1) an online survey of Twitter users and (2) their usage data collected directly from Twitter. Our results indicate that social awareness, social presence, and usage frequency have a direct effect on social connectedness, while network size has a moderating effect. We find social presence partially mediating the relationship between social awareness and social connectedness. We use the findings of our analysis to outline design implications for online social networks from a human computer interaction perspective.

Keywords: Online social network, social capital, social presence, social connectedness, social awareness, Twitter

Suggested Citation

Riedl, Christoph and Köbler, Felix and Goswami, Suparna and Krcmar, Helmut, Tweeting to Feel Connected: A Model for Social Connectedness in Online Social Networks (January 11, 2013). International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction (IJHCI), 29(10), 1-18, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2199523

Christoph Riedl (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - D’Amore-McKim School of Business ( email )

360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.christophriedl.net

Northeastern University - College of Computer and Information Science ( email )

360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Harvard University - Institute for Quantitative Social Science ( email )

1737 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://christophriedl.net

Felix Köbler

Technische Universität München (TUM) - Information Systems ( email )

Boltzmannstr. 3
Garching b. Munich, 85748
Germany

Suparna Goswami

Technische Universität München (TUM) - Information Systems ( email )

Boltzmannstr. 3
Garching b. Munich, 85748
Germany

Helmut Krcmar

Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) ( email )

Arcisstrasse 21
Munich, 80333
Germany

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