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Maintained Relationships on Facebook

This past week the Economist published a piece entitled Primates On Facebook that described some research done by the Facebook Data Team. Since there have been a number of questions throughout the monkeysphere, we thought we would take the opportunity to describe our approach, the data, and our analysis.


Read more about our findings (and become a fan) at the Facebook Data Page
and my coworker Cameron’s blog at Overstated.net.

Reader Replies

  1. d^2 replied
    on Mar 10th, 2009 at 11:43 am

    does facebook track data related to outgoing links (or maybe internal links to facebook items)?

    for example, could you track the spread of certain links by click-throughs? possibly even measure the marginal increase in click-through as users with more friends link to items?

    you could also apply geography or school filters to try to find places where certain ideas originate or propagate.

    you may be able to identify certain users or groups that will spread certain ideas much faster if they are targeted.

  2. Lee Byron replied
    on Mar 10th, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    These are great ideas :)

    Always happy to hear outside suggestions as to what public research we should do next. Thanks!

  3. Michael E. Driscoll replied
    on Mar 13th, 2009 at 1:52 am

    Pretty cool – obviously this is relatively narrow slice of the data. What’s bewildering is that you guys generate more data in a day than most academic anthropologists / psychologists have collected in a lifetime.

    I can imagine — beyond obvious privacy concerns — that it’s a political minefield when it comes to what kinds of findings FB can discuss. The gender issue is just the tip.

    But unlike in academia, the answers these touchy questions have v. real implications for how the platform ultimately serves users.

  4. yenny ferryanto replied
    on Sep 21st, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Dear Lee,

    I want to you ask you about how do you do the research of maintained relationship on Facebook, what is the major? because i am still in master want to do the theses about strong and weak tie member in use facebook.

    i really want the information,

    thank you.

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