A Measurement-driven Analysis of Information Propagation in the Flickr Social Network

Presented at: 18th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2009)

by Meeyoung Cha, Alan Mislove, Krishna P. Gummadi

Webpage: http://www2009.eprints.org/73/1/p721.pdf

Online social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, and Flickr have become a popular way to share and disseminate content. Their massive popularity has led to viral marketing techniques that at- tempt to spread content, products, and ideas on these sites. How- ever, there is little data publicly available on viral propagation in the real world and few studies have characterized how information spreads over current online social networks. In this paper, we collect and analyze large-scale traces of infor- mation dissemination in the Flickr social network. Our analysis, based on crawls of the favorite markings of 2.5 million users on 11 million photos, aims at answering three key questions: (a) how widely does information propagate in the social network? (b) how quickly does information propagate? and (c) what is the role of word-of-mouth exchanges between friends in the overall propaga- tion of information in the network? Contrary to viral marketing "intuition," we find that (a) even popular photos do not spread widely throughout the network, (b) even popular photos spread slowly through the network, and (c) information exchanged be- tween friends is likely to account for over 50% of all favorite- markings, but with a significant delay at each hop.

Keywords: Social Networks and Web 2.0


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