Nicole Ellison- The benefits of Facebook “Friends”: The social capital implications of Facebook-enabled communication practices

This talk will provide an overview of research exploring the social capital implications of social network site use. Specifically, I will report on a program of research exploring Facebook use and the ways in which the site is used to gather information, deepen relationships, garner social support, and access diverse information and perspectives. Building upon our 2007 article in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007), we extend our findings regarding the link between Facebook use and social capital to explore specific behaviors that are most predictive of social capital accrual. Our most recent work examines specific Facebook-enabled communication practices and the differences between Facebook Friends and “actual” Facebook Friends among adults and emerging adults (undergraduates).