Interest Graph vs. Social Graph
Like the Social Graph, which connects people based on who they know, the Interest Graph also connects people with a different common denominator. The difference occurs in the reason or source of the connection. An Interest Graph will connect people based on their interests including; hobbies, passions and curiosities without knowing each other or having any pre-existing relationship.
The idea of connecting people based on their interest through social media was first seen on Twitter. Twitter was created in 2006 and according to an article written by Dr. Tony Hirst, “Twitter, as it grows rapidly in public consciousness as the place (or “backchannel”) to chat around live events as diverse as television and radio broadcasts, conferences, and “trending” hashtags, increasingly provides a snapshot of “the interest graph”. Twitter has become the place in the digital world where users are interacting on the bases of the idea of connecting with people based on interest, rather than relationships,
This concept of Interest Graph has become the basis for a number of different social media platforms including;
- Pinterest, an online photo sharing website which allows the user to following other user’s photo galleries (pin boards) with the same interest.
- Quora an online question-and-answer website created and edited by users allowing people to discuss topics that interest them .
- Thumb a place where users can give their opinions of other users photos asking for feedback and recommendations.
As previously mentioned the Interest Graph differs from the Social Graph. I believe in the future the line that separates the two kinds of relationships will become blurred. Users of Social Media will begin to integrate the people they interact with that on their Social Graph with the people they met through their Interest Graphs. In other words, there will no longer be a distinction between friends they “know” on Facebook and friends they met through their interest on Social Media platforms such as Quroa or Pinterest. This has already begun to happen the other way, where users follow the friends they know on Facebook on Interest Graph based social media platforms. A certain degree of it is already happening by people using groups on Facebook (Ex: Birth without Fear, a Facebook group of mothers who post comments and pictures about their experiences as a new mother). I predict the relationships will go beyond becoming friends on Facebook, but becoming friends who physical interact. This has already begun to happen with the creation of meet up groups, where a group of people interested in something will physically meet up and participate in an activity. I predict on the near future this meet up group style will become a social norm and the questions will no longer be “how do you know them?” but “what interest do you guys share?”.
Other links of interest: