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Article

Propensity to make social connections and structural social capital of SNS users

The present study aims to investigate the relationship between structural
social capital of social networking site (SNS) users and their propensity to make
social connections. We focus on Vkontakte SNS as the most popular one in Russia
and obtain both network data on ego-networks characteristics and self-reported data
on the motivation to make connections from 363 respondents. The results support
the idea that the growth of personal networks is driven by the own motivation of
users along with the effect of preferential attachment is observed. In addition, users
with different level of motivation to connect with others turned out to demonstrate
different patterns of online friending behavior: less motivated users form more tight
and dense ego-networks in comparison with highly socially-oriented users. In
contrast, highly motivated users possess more loose and centralized networks, which
may reflect the tendency of ego-network having a star-structure.