Differences between Role of Strong Ties and Weak Ties in Information Diffusion on Social Network Sites

Differences between Role of Strong Ties and Weak Ties in Information Diffusion on Social Network Sites

Sanaz Kavianpour (Advanced Informatics School, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Zuraini Ismail (Advanced Informatics School, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and Bharanidharan Shanmugam (Advanced Informatics School, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4490-8.ch028
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Abstract

The popularity of Social Network Sites (SNSs) has increased recently. Social network sites provide platforms which operate based on exchanging information among users; therefore, information propagation is a significant topic in social networking researches. The goal of this chapter is to study the factors that have a significant role in information diffusion, then compare the role of ties in spreading information and evaluating the strength of ties. The result shows that, although strong ties have an important role, the likelihood of information diffusion by weak ties is higher.
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Information Diffusion

A social process in which innovation is communicated and information is rebroadcasted via channels overtime among members of a social system is a diffusion of information. Information diffusion is different from information creation. The process of information propagation varies by different factors. For example, some nodes in social networks are called as opinion leaders that mean they are the centre of information flow and they have effect on other nodes (Canright, Engø-Monsen & Weltzien, 2004). On social network sites, by capturing the users’ friend list the active user can be find, and this user can be considered as opinion leader to be used in order to spread information. Some factors that have role in information diffusion are as following.

Users

Jenkins emphasizes on the role of end users in information diffusion. In information spreading end users have main role while in virus spreading users are just passive carriers without any choice to infect others or not (Magnani & Rossi, 2011). In information propagation, beside which cultural context has more chance to be spread how it is going to be spread by users in SNSs is also important and this depicts that there is difference among exposition, contagion and spreading of information. Users who expose and spread cultural context are considerably different from users who contaminate viral context.

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