Analyzing the Effects of Social Network Structure on the Growth and Survival of Online Communities in Reddit

Sho TSUGAWA
Sumaru NIIDA

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E104-B    No.7    pp.760-769
Publication Date: 2021/07/01
Publicized: 2021/01/08
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.2020CQP0006
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Future Directions of Research and Development on Communication Quality)
Category: 
Keyword: 
online community,  social network,  Reddit,  growth,  survival,  

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Summary: 
While online communities are important platforms for various social activities, many online communities fail to survive, which motivates researchers to investigate factors affecting the growth and survival of online communities. We comprehensively examine the effects of a wide variety of social network features on the growth and survival of communities in Reddit. We show that several social network features, including clique ratio, density, clustering coefficient, reciprocity and centralization, have significant effects on the survival of communities. In contrast, we also show that social network features examined in this paper only have weak effects on the growth of communities. Moreover, we conducted experiments predicting future growth and survival of online communities utilizing social network features as well as contents and activity features in the communities. The results show that prediction models utilizing social network features as well as contents and activity features achieve approximately 30% higher F1 measure, which evaluates the prediction accuracy, than the models only using contents and activity features. In contrast, it is also shown that social network features are not effective for predicting the growth of communities.