DGTL 12002 Week 6: Social Graph

Coined a few years ago by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the term social graph meant “a digital map of your personal identity, your primary Facebook friends and everything you share with them” (Korhan 2011).  Today, with the inclusion of other platforms such as Flickr, Twitter and Google, social graph is the “representation of our relationships” (Owyang 2007), describing our business, family or personal groups on social networking sites. In essence these ‘social graphs’ layer upon each other personalizing our experiences.

With all of this data sharing, what is the implications of such integration technology to Facebook and other sites?  The below table surmises the pros and cons of social graphs according to Manganaro (2013).

Pros Cons
*More targeted to what you and your friends like.


*When running ads for a page you admin, you can search publicly to see which of your friends of friends have liked your page.


*Narrow your original search to highly target who or what you are looking for.

*Going beyond pages your friends have liked (seeing where they have visited).


*If you want to see quickly what was going on at a place & did people look like they had a good time


*World will be able to search anytime to you were tagged in a public pictures venue.


*People can see all the pages you liked (can be inappropriate).


*Marketing con-if you are a page owner and you don’t have many friends, or friends of friends that have liked your business – you are not going to score high up in the hundreds of other pages, groups of friends have liked. (note* it has always been important to buy ads that target your fan’s friends of your page).


*Unwise to like all of your competitor’s pages and friends them personally.  When ads are taken out by your competitors you don’t want your personal friends targeted.


The pros of personalization may seem to outweigh the cons, as a self-confession of Manganaro’s preference to using social graph.  However, as Siegel (2010) highlights, we are going from a push to a pull in all of our media, with social networks as the same personal form of push media, the recognition that customers will want to pull everything, changes the way business is conducted dramatically.  Furthermore, Siegel explains that the semantic wave has already begun, and that the fourth phase Automatic (which is the processors, sensors and products that will generate their own semantic data automatically), will create flowing webs of real time information and an internet of things all connected.

With such automation, the main concern highlighted is the threat to people’s privacy.  As evident in 2015 of “Facebook’s decision to increase the default security of user’s data” (Wolfram 2015), meant that the Facebook API would no longer have access to friends (except names) unless they have authorized specific Facebook apps.  Reactions such as these in response to privacy concerns, and in an age where automation means that we will be doing less searching and more receiving makes you wonder if privacy will be the kryptonite to social graphs as we are just getting use to them.



Korhan, J 2011, What your business needs to know about social graphs, viewed 23 August 2016, http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/what-your-business-needs-to-know-about-social-graphs/.

Manganaro, W 2013, Facebook social graph the pros and cons, viewed 23 August 2016, http://socialabundancemarketing.com/facebook-social-graph-the-pros-and-cons/

Owyang, J 2007, Explaining what the “social graph” is to your executives, viewed 23 August 2016, http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2007/11/10/what-is-social-graph-executives/.

Siegel, D 2010, The history of information, viewed 22 August 2016, https://vimeo.com/11117216.

Wolfram 2015, Wolfram/alpha personal analytics for facebook: last chance to analyse your friend network, viewed 23 August 2016, http://company.wolfram.com/news/2015/wolframalpha-personal-analytics-for-facebook-last-chance-to-analyze-your-friend-network/.



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