How the online social networks are used: dialogues-based structure of MySpace
Journal of the Royal Society Interface
Quantitative study of collective dynamics in online social networks is a new challenge based on the abundance of empirical data. Conclusions, however, may depend on factors such as user's psychology profiles and their reasons to use the online contacts. In this study, we have compiled and analysed two datasets from MySpace. The data contain networked dialogues occurring within a specified time depth, high temporal resolution and texts of messages, in which the emotion valence is assessed by
... g the SentiStrength classifier. Performing a comprehensive analysis, we obtain three groups of results: dynamic topology of the dialogues-based networks have a characteristic structure with Zipf's distribution of communities, low link reciprocity and disassortative correlations. Overlaps supporting 'weak-ties' hypothesis are found to follow the laws recently conjectured for online games. Longrange temporal correlations and persistent fluctuations occur in the time series of messages carrying positive (negative) emotion; patterns of user communications have dominant positive emotion (attractiveness) and strong impact of circadian cycles and interactivity times longer than 1 day. Taken together, these results give a new insight into the functioning of online social networks and unveil the importance of the amount of information and emotion that is communicated along the social links. All data used in this study are fully anonymized.