Measuring user behavior in online social networks

Laszlo Gyarmati, Tuan Trinh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)


The users' role is crucial in the development, deployment and the success of online social networks. Despite this fact, little is known and even less has been published about user activities in operating OSNs. In this article we present a large-scale measurement analysis of user behavior in some popular OSNs: Bebo, MySpace, Netlog, and Tagged. A measurement framework has been created in order to observe user activity: more than 500 PlanetLab nodes across the globe have been used for our measurement, monitoring more than 80,000 users for six weeks by downloading more than 100 million profile pages. Based on the measurements, we address two key issues of online social networks: characterization of user activities and usage patterns in the examined OSNs. The main findings of the article include that users' online time spending can be modeled with Weibull distributions; soon after subscribing, a fraction of users tend to lose interest surprisingly fast; and the duration of OSN users' online sessions shows power law distribution characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5578915
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Network
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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