Traditional social networks fueled Twitter’s spread
While people often say that the Internet has flattened the world allowing social networks to spring up overnight, independent of geography or socioeconomic status, new research suggests otherwise. Professor Marta González and graduate student Jameson Toole studied the “contagion process” of the microblogging platform and website Twitter from 2006 to 2009 and say that the site’s growth in the United States actually relied primarily on media attention and traditional social networks based on geographic proximity and socioeconomic similarity. In other words, at least during those early years, birds of a feather flocked — and tweeted — together. Read a news story.