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That is One strong triadic closure!



Straight from San Francisco comes a hot new startup called One. The premise behind this startup’s app is simple – an alert is sent to your mobile device when someone in the area has a similar interest to you. The goal of the app is to connect people who might have been friends if they had met but without the app they would have just walked on by with their lives. This eventually unfolds into a miniature social network allowing users in an area to share information and message the users who have the common interests.


One’s product seems so intuitive that I can envision it becoming a part of our everyday lives like Facebook has. The success of the app that One offers brought me to ask why does/should it work so well. It became apparent that the founders at One were exploiting what we first learned in class – the concept of strong triadic closure. When a node shares strong ties with two other nodes, the other two nodes should at least have a weak tie. One emulates this property: the user of the app and the other user who will be notified of the first user both share strong ties to their interests which can be represented as the node which obeys strong triadic closure. The property states that since both users have strong interests in the topic put in the app (they should or else they wouldn’t have listed it on the app!) they should share a weak tie. My interpretation of this was that the users should at least be able to happily converse on the interests at hand and potentially become good friends (strong tie!) or acquaintances (weak tie!). Of course, they might not like each other at all which in that case the property is violated. But it is much more likely that they will get along than meeting trying to get along with a complete stranger.


The close connection between the idea that drives this app and the property of strong triadic closure is amazing. It is entirely possible that the founders had spawned the idea for this startup in a class very much like Networks!


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