University Of Cambridge Study Finds New Way Of Predicting Online Friendships
Remember that man you’ve seen in the gym, on the Tube and at your favourite restaurant? Turns out he could be your new best friend. Well, according to a new study by University of Cambridge researchers.
Students at Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory have looked at new ways of predicting who will become friends on social networks like Facebook. And it turns out you’re more likely to get friendly with people who go to the same places than share friendship groups.
One of the study’s authors, Salvatore Scellato, told the Huffington Post UK that the results showed people who attended the same gym or church were more likely to pal up than those who, for example, regularly went to King’s Cross station.
“We can understand whether two people will become friends by looking at where they go, the places they share. The idea is that if you have a place where a lot of people go, like a museum, if you go to the British Museum that’s not a good indication. But places like gyms, offices, churches then it’s much more likely they will become friends.
“There is a sociological theory which says that the smaller the place, the stronger the bond. So we thought that now millions of people use places and data is available to us through social networking sites, we can test this theory.”
The academics used existing data from location based social network Gowalla to compare their hypothesis with reality.
Scellato said the study had implications for how Facebook and Twitter suggest people to follow or friend.
“So if people go to the same places and become friends we can search for new friends among the places you have been. So people can get suggestions based on others who have been to the same gym, office or restaurant.”