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How Friends Influence Gadget Adoption


iPad 2

Photo courtesy of TechRepublic

People are more likely to buy a product that their friends have already purchased, and the spread of adoption within social networks could help predict whether new products will become a hit, according to Telenor researchers.

They used anonymized data from Telenor's network to measure the social characteristics of product adoption involving Apple's iPhone and iPad and the Doro mobile handset.

In a presentation at the recent Interdisciplinary Workshop on Information and Decision in Social Networks, the researchers reported that the information available from online social networks revealed how users communicate and what mobile devices they use. "Social networks matter when purchase decisions are made," says Telenor's Pal Sundsoy.

The team found that there was a tribe of users of Apple products who are connected to each other. After the launch of the iPhone, a heavily connected cluster of users formed relatively quickly, and the central cluster grew larger over time. IPhone users had twice as many connections to one another than all owners of other devices. People with one friend who owned an iPad were 14 times more likely to own one themselves than if they had no friends who owned the device. Meanwhile, the far-less-successful Doro tended to have users who were connected to few users, and there was no central cluster.

From Technology Review
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Abstracts Copyright © 2011 Information Inc. External Link, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


 

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