Faceboook says it wants to get 5 billion more people online. That’s certainly in Facebook’s favor, but the anthropology major in me has to pose a question: do you think it is in the interest of those 5 billion more people as well? Will they want it? Should they?
Just curious where you fall.
(via Stephen Wolfram Blog : Data Science of the Facebook World)
All of this post is very interesting, but this visualization of the author’s 15-year-old daughter’s Facebook network and the ones that follow caught my attention the most. It illustrates, to some extent, where the source of her connections on the medium come from. The analysis that follows is worth a look.
It’s of course logical that we have different clusters of friends on social networks, probably particularly so in the case of Facebook. It’s neat here, however, that data may suggest there’s a most typical number of clusters that make up the majority of an individual’s network: three.
Years ago, I also went to one-time events like summer camps, and I am still friends with most of those folks on Facebook. I’ve probably neglected the size of those resulting clusters in my own network. But odds are that years later — after a handful of schools, jobs and one-time events like conferences — the show choir camp I attended in high school doesn’t make up one of my major three clusters. But I’m willing to bet a cluster I don’t think about or engage with in real life all the time definitely does.
(And who knows, maybe it actually is that show choir group. For someone who is involved pretty heavily in journalism, I do see a lot of news in my stream that deals not with great free tools for online storytelling, but instead, something like who won grand champions at a random competition in Iowa.)
It’s interesting, in general, to think about what those three(ish) clusters may be for every individual user on the platform. There is some level of filter bubble and we do see content from people similar to us in a place like Facebook. But perhaps it’s worth opening up and examining which “people like us” we see most. Or, at the very least, determining the ones that have a shot, sticking around and gaining influence in our network because of their sheer size.