A geographic study of tie strength in social media Conference Paper uri icon


  • In this paper, we investigate the interplay of distance and tie strength through an examination of 20 million geo-encoded tweets collected from Twitter and 6 million user profiles. Concretely, we investigate the relationship between the strength of the tie between a pair of users, and the distance between the pair. We identify several factors - including following, mentioning, and actively engaging in conversations with another user - that can strongly reveal the distance between a pair of users. We find a bimodal distribution in Twitter, with one peak around 10 miles from people who live nearby, and another peak around 2500 miles, further validating Twitter's use as both a social network (with geographically nearby friends) and as a news distribution network (with very distant relationships). © 2011 ACM.

author list (cited authors)

  • McGee, J., Caverlee, J. A., & Cheng, Z.

citation count

  • 27

editor list (cited editors)

  • Macdonald, C., Ounis, I., & Ruthven, I.

publication date

  • January 2011