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Strong Regularities in Growth and Decline of Popularity of Social Media Services

Christian Bauckhage; Kristian Kersting
In: Computing Research Repository eprint Journal (CoRR), Vol. abs/1406.6529, Pages 0-10, arXiv, 2014.


We analyze general trends and pattern in time series that characterize the dynamics of collective attention to social media services and Web-based businesses. Our study is based on search frequency data available from Google Trends and considers 175 different services. For each service, we collect data from 45 different countries as well as global averages. This way, we obtain more than 8,000 time series which we analyze using diffusion models from the economic sciences. We find that these models accurately characterize the empirical data and our analysis reveals that collective attention to social media grows and subsides in a highly regular and predictable manner. Regularities persist across regions, cultures, and topics and thus hint at general mechanisms that govern the adoption of Web-based services. We discuss several cases in detail to highlight interesting findings. Our methods are of economic interest as they may inform investment decisions and can help assessing at what stage of the general life-cycle a Web service is at.

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