Social Graph English (en) français (fr)

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The Social Graph is the term, which may refer to relationships

  • refer to relationships on the World Wide Web, or
  • encompasses all relationships between all individuals in the world (Social network).

Relationships on the Wordl Wide Web

The social graph is a term coined by scientists working in the social areas of graph theory.

It has been described as "the global mapping of everybody and how they're related". The term was popularized at the Facebook f8 conference on May 24, 2007, when it was used to explain that the Facebook Platform, which was introduced at the same time, would benefit from the social graph by taking advantage of the relationships between individuals, that Facebook provides, to offer a richer on-line experience. The definition has been expanded to refer to a social graph of all Internet users.

A graph is an abstract concept used in discrete mathematics;
  • the social graph describes the relationships between individuals online,
  • as opposed to the concept of a social network, which describes relationships in the real world.

The two concepts are very similar, but some minor differences do exist. For example, the social graph is digital, and more importantly, it is defined explicitly by all connections involved. Since explaining the concept of the social graph, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has often touted Facebook's goal of offering the website's social graph to other websites so that a user's relationships can be made aware and put to use on websites outside of Facebook's control.

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Relationships between all individuals in the world

The Social Graph is the representation of our relationships; defines the personal, family, or business communities on social websites.

Brad Fitzpatrick defines the "Social Graph" as "the global mapping of everybody and how they're related". [1].

In this case the Social Graph is the graphical presentation of a Social network.

Key Elements In Digital Social Graphs

The Digital Social Graph is digital and defined explicitly by connections in all social networks such as:

1. People Identity

Each one of us participates in multiple networks, but we want to be identified as the same person in all of them.

2. Type of Relationships

Types of relationships are a friend, a co-worker, a family member.

3. Relationships Identity

Privacy and Ownership of Information

Privacy and ownership of information are at the core of the social graph issues. Much like there is a conflict of interest around attention information between online retailers and users, there is a mismatch between what individuals and companies want from social networks. We care about ease of use and privacy.

The Social Graph API

There is a need for an API or a service that would broker the information between social networks.

Further Reading

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