Studying Facebook via Data Extraction: The Netvizz Application

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This 2013 paper describes Netvizz, a data collection and extraction application on Facebook that allows researchers to export data in standard file formats from different sections of the social networking platform. Using Netvizz, friendship networks, groups, and pages can be analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively with regards to demographical, post-demographical, and relational characteristics.

This article will be of use to social network researchers and practitioners looking to utilize data collection and extraction technologies for Facebook and other social platforms. The paper provides an overview of analytical directions opened up by the data made available by Netvizz. It further discusses platform specific aspects of data extraction via the official Application Programming Interface (API), and briefly engages some of the difficult ethical considerations attached to this type of research.

B Rieder