Saturday, February 04, 2012

Twitter bots as community organizers.

Human copycat behavior can be exploited to increase social interaction online. When social bots start following and retwitting members of a group of real people, the rate of following among the group increases as well.
January 23, 2012. MTR -- a group of freelance Web researchers has created more sophisticated Twitter bots, dubbed "socialbots," that can not only fool people into thinking they are real people, but also serve as virtual social connectors, speeding up the natural rate of human-to-human communication.

...the group tracked 2,700 Twitter users, divided into randomly assigned "target groups" of 300, over 54 days.

On average, each bot attracted 62 new followers and received 33 incoming tweets (mentions and retweets). But Hwang and his colleagues also found that the human-to-human activity changed within the target groups when the socialbots were introduced. They noted a 43 percent increase in follows, compared to the control period averaged over all the groups. However, one group exhibited a 355 percent increase in this connection rate. 
Could it be that twitter is as contagious as laughing?

 tags: social, networking, psychology, 10X, biology, information

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