A Large-Scale Study of MySpace: Observations and Implications for Online Social Networks

James Caverlee, Steve Webb

We study the characteristics of large online social networks through an extensive analysis of over 1.9 million MySpace profiles in an effort to understand who is using these networks and how they are being used. We study MySpace through a comparative study over three different, but related, facets: (i) the sociability of users in MySpace based on relationship, messaging, and group participation; (ii) the demographic characteristics of MySpace users in terms of age, gender, and location, and a study of how these factors correlate with their privacy preferences; and (iii) the text artifacts of MySpace users, which can be used to construct language models that distinguish MySpace users not just by who they say they are but also by the language model they employ. We find a number of surprising results and conjecture several potential research directions based on our observations.

Subjects: 1. Applications; 12. Machine Learning and Discovery

Submitted: Feb 12, 2008

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