Jun 10, 2011

Facebook paper of the day

This study assesses whether Facebook users have different ‘connection strategies,’ a term which describes a suite of Facebook-related relational communication activities, and explores the relationship between these connection strategies and social capital. Survey data (N = 450) from a random sample of undergraduate students reveal that only social information-seeking behaviors contribute to perceptions of social capital; connection strategies that focus on strangers or close friends do not. We also find that reporting more ‘actual’ friends on the site is predictive of social capital, but only to a point.We believe the explanation for these findings may be that the identity information in Facebook serves as a social lubricant, encouraging individuals to convert latent to weak ties and enabling them to broadcast requests for support or information.

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