Measuring latent ties on Facebook: A novel approach to studying their prevalence and relationship with bridging social capital

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@article{765fbf37c558487499ae91abf2ac1e18,
title = "Measuring latent ties on Facebook: A novel approach to studying their prevalence and relationship with bridging social capital",
abstract = "The goal of the current study was to develop an empirical measure of latent ties on Facebook. We begin with a brief literature review of the influence of social media use on social capital and how latent ties fit into this literature. Latent ties are defined as ties with whom a connection is made possible by an affordance of a technological platform, such as the Facebook friend list, but with whom one never communicates. Latent ties have often been considered beneficial for garnering bridging social capital, but their prevalence and relationship to social capital has not been measured empirically. In the current study, we describe a novel approach for measuring latent ties by questionnaire. In a sample of 164 participants, we found that nearly 40% of Facebook users{\textquoteright} networks were latent ties. Furthermore, the percent of latent ties in users{\textquoteright} networks was negatively associated with bridging social capital. Finally, we examined the discriminant validity of the latent ties measure, and found that the percent of latent ties in one{\textquoteright}s Facebook network and the total number of Facebook friends (network size) were unrelated. Results are discussed in regard to possible uses of this measure of latent ties in future research.",
keywords = "latent ties, Facebook, Bridging social capital, measure",
author = "Genavee Brown and Nicolas Michinov",
year = "2019",
month = nov,
doi = "10.1016/j.techsoc.2019.101176",
language = "English",
volume = "59",
journal = "Technology in Society",
issn = "0160-791X",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Measuring latent ties on Facebook

T2 - A novel approach to studying their prevalence and relationship with bridging social capital

AU - Brown, Genavee

AU - Michinov, Nicolas

PY - 2019/11

Y1 - 2019/11

N2 - The goal of the current study was to develop an empirical measure of latent ties on Facebook. We begin with a brief literature review of the influence of social media use on social capital and how latent ties fit into this literature. Latent ties are defined as ties with whom a connection is made possible by an affordance of a technological platform, such as the Facebook friend list, but with whom one never communicates. Latent ties have often been considered beneficial for garnering bridging social capital, but their prevalence and relationship to social capital has not been measured empirically. In the current study, we describe a novel approach for measuring latent ties by questionnaire. In a sample of 164 participants, we found that nearly 40% of Facebook users’ networks were latent ties. Furthermore, the percent of latent ties in users’ networks was negatively associated with bridging social capital. Finally, we examined the discriminant validity of the latent ties measure, and found that the percent of latent ties in one’s Facebook network and the total number of Facebook friends (network size) were unrelated. Results are discussed in regard to possible uses of this measure of latent ties in future research.

AB - The goal of the current study was to develop an empirical measure of latent ties on Facebook. We begin with a brief literature review of the influence of social media use on social capital and how latent ties fit into this literature. Latent ties are defined as ties with whom a connection is made possible by an affordance of a technological platform, such as the Facebook friend list, but with whom one never communicates. Latent ties have often been considered beneficial for garnering bridging social capital, but their prevalence and relationship to social capital has not been measured empirically. In the current study, we describe a novel approach for measuring latent ties by questionnaire. In a sample of 164 participants, we found that nearly 40% of Facebook users’ networks were latent ties. Furthermore, the percent of latent ties in users’ networks was negatively associated with bridging social capital. Finally, we examined the discriminant validity of the latent ties measure, and found that the percent of latent ties in one’s Facebook network and the total number of Facebook friends (network size) were unrelated. Results are discussed in regard to possible uses of this measure of latent ties in future research.

KW - latent ties

KW - Facebook

KW - Bridging social capital

KW - measure

U2 - 10.1016/j.techsoc.2019.101176

DO - 10.1016/j.techsoc.2019.101176

M3 - Article

VL - 59

JO - Technology in Society

JF - Technology in Society

SN - 0160-791X

M1 - 101176

ER -