Skip to Main Content
Online communities are connecting large numbers of individuals and generating rich social network data, opening the way for empirical studies of social behavior. In this paper, we consider the widely-held view of social scientists that bonding interactions are more likely than bridging interactions in social networks, and test it within the context of the large online Twitter community. We find that indeed users who request to follow others having similar profile descriptions (i.e., attempting to bond) increase the number of Twitter users who reciprocate their follow requests. From a practical standpoint, this result also informs how a new user might interact on Twitter to maintain a high follow-back ratio.