Online actions with offline impact: how online social networks influence online and offline social behavior

the morning paper

Online actions with offline impact: how online social networks influence online and offline user behavior Althoff et al., WSDM 2017

You can go to a lot of effort to build social networking features or support into your app or website. If the goal is engagement directly within the app then at least you have something you can measure, even if cause and effect can be hard to untangle . But if the goal is to drive user behaviour outside of the app this becomes a much harder problem. An e-commerce example would be the desire to drive foot traffic into retail stores (see e.g., Facebook’s dynamic ads for retail). A more direct example is fitness apps want to drive physical activity outside of the app. In today’s paper, Althoff et al. analyse a dataset uniquely qualified to help us get a handle on the benefits of social networking features…

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