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Title: Discovering social behaviour variances of younger and older users through social interaction analysis

Authors: Darren Quinn; Liming Chen; Maurice Mulvenna

Addresses: School of Computing and Mathematics, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, BT37 0QB, UK ' School of Computing and Mathematics, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, BT37 0QB, UK ' School of Computing and Mathematics, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, BT37 0QB, UK

Abstract: The popularity of social networking has risen considerably in recent years, increasing opportunities for social interaction. As an approach, it has the potential to reduce the burden of social isolation for older users. However, the current state of older user engagement requires investigation. In a study, exploring the possibilities of interaction analysis to undercover user behaviours/characteristics, five aspects of younger and older online engagement were investigated comprising; connectivity, length of engagement, application usage, engagement frequency classification and profile maintenance frequency. Results derived from user generated content, enabled direct comparisons on the engagement levels of both cohorts. Results established interaction analysis as an approach to detect user behaviour(s), observing the degree older users failure to return and maintain activity as significant; however, users who do engage, maintain activity with a broad range of functions. Results quantified the interactions and behaviours of two disparate cohorts, determining their key user characteristics.

Keywords: online social networks; older users; younger users; social behaviour variance; social interaction analysis; social networking; online engagement; user behaviour; user characteristics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWS.2013.056574

International Journal of Web Science, 2013 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.44 - 65

Available online: 25 Sep 2013 *

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