Structural diversity and tie strength in the purchase of a social networking app

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although people increasingly rely on online services to maintain their relationships, we know relatively little about what drives their use. To address this, I analyze data from a social networking site that started charging its users for an app that populates their e-mail address books with updated contact information. I find that purchase rates of the app were higher for users with large, structurally diverse networks – which contain several distinct social groups. Moreover, personal ties (i.e., family members and friends) increased purchase rates more than professional ties. I attribute the first effect to the difficulty of obtaining information about a large, diverse social network, which the app reduces, and the second effect to the regularity with which people use information about their personal ties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)660-674
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


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