Cambridge researchers use location-based tracking to help suggest friends for social network users.
Friends suggestions on social networks have traditionally been based on the friends-of-friends approach. But researchers at Cambridge University have taken this one step further, creating a method to help social network users reach out to potential friends through location tracking. After over 4 months of research, they found that ‘about 30 percent of all new social links appear among users that check-in to the same places,’ prompting them to devise a system that suggests potential friends to users who check-in at the same locations, such as offices, gyms, and schools. Based on a theory called ‘place entropy,’ the algorithm calculates the value of potential social connection using type of meeting place, number of people who visit the place, and the regularity of those visits.