June 12, 2013
The Eﬀects of Surfacing Related
Interests On Online User Proﬁle
Research Area: Social Computing
> People form impressions of others given
surprisingly little information.
> With the advent of social networks, impressions
now frequently form online rather than in a face-
to- face context.
> Interpersonal similarity in personal attributes has
been shown to cause positive evaluation of others
and liking toward them.
Does tailoring a user’s proﬁle to
the viewer increase likeness1?
1. Operationalized as a follow
> Within-subjects study
> Each participant sees the same 10 proﬁles of Prismatic users
> 5 of the 10 proﬁles sorted by default, others use interest sort
> Similarity scores were calculated in order to control for similarity
make a decision on whether to follow
explain why you:
> followed a particular user
> did not follow a particular user
0 1 2 3 4 5 More
0 1 2 3 4 5 More
Follow Count (Default Sort)
Follow Count (Interest Sort)
N = 52
Trials = 520
p < 0.001
Users conﬁrmed that the alignment of
interests was a big factor for them
2. Frequency of Use
3. Community around Individual
the mix of relevant articles with an element of surprise
active user and contributor
who and what they follow, as well as who follows them
Overall our results were quite telling with almost twice
as many follows for the sorted interest case versus the
> Both of these results seem to support the notion
that surfacing more interpersonal similarities
between users leads to higher level of closeness
through follows or likes in an online setting.
Follow No Follow Follow No Follow
Sum 62 198 112 148
Mean 12.4 39.6 22.4 29.6
STDV 7.12 7.13 6.02 6.02
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