Authors: Paul Lapides, Sheelagh Carpendale
Abstract: Hundreds of millions of people use social networking sites like Facebook every day to maintain awareness of their friends. To aid this, Facebook presents people’s activities by focusing on current or recent events and provides long lists that sequence individual stories. However, methods that support exploration of past personal activities in aggregate are missing. In this paper we present Friend Bubbles, a new personal visualization that allows Facebook users to explore who among their friends is engaging with the content they post and what this engagement reveals about their social ecology. We consider three types of engagement on Facebook: likes, comments, and shares. Friend Bubbles presents the user with two collections of bubbles: (1) representing posts they have made on their own timeline such as status updates, photo and video uploads, and links; and (2) representing their friends who have engaged with those posts. Selecting any bubble in either collection reorders the visualization to show similarities and engagement relationships between posts and friends. We discuss the contributions and role of Friend Bubbles, a new personal visualization that helps users to understand their personal social ecology on Facebook and to explore engagement with their content.