Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Facebook users provide lots of information about the structure of their relationship graph. Facebook uses that information to provide content and services that are expected to be important to users. If Facebook knows who the most important people in my life are, Facebook can use that knowledge to serve me content that is more relevant to me.
Jon Kleinberg studied Facebook network structures together with Lars Backstrom, creating a paper called “Romantic Partnerships and the Dispersion of Social Ties: A Network Analysis of Relationship Status on Facebook”. The goal of this study was to find a metric that could help rank the strength of relationships on Facebook, and the results have implications for sociology as well as the way that we think about building social networks.
Jon is a professor of Computer Science at Cornell, and wrote the textbook “Algorithm Design” which I used in college, so it was a privilege to get to talk to him.