In the 1950s, sociologists introduced the homophily principle, explaining the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others. Marriage, friendship, work, advice, support, information transfer, exchange, co-membership, and other types of relationship structures network ties of every type. Sociologists Miller McPherson, Lynn Smith-Lovin and James Cook wrote in their classic 2001 paper on the subject, “Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social Networks,” and “the result is that people’s personal networks are homogeneous”, that similarity breeds connection between people. In the first paper, the researchers showed how “homophily limits people’s social worlds in a way that has powerful implications for the information they receive, the attitudes they form, and the interactions they experience”.
In addition to these researches, researchers at MIT even published “Homophily in Online Dating: When Do You Like Someone Like Yourself?” to explain that people like someone like themselves most of the time, both in an online social network and offline society.
Homophily exists on a wide array of socio-demographic and behavioural dimension and divides the concept of homophily into “status homophily” and “value homophily”. Status homophily means that individuals with similar social status characteristics are more likely to associate with each other than by chance. By contrast, “value homophily” -which attracts our attention because of its application in our project- refers to a tendency to associate with others who have a similar attitude, belief, and value.
Homophily vs Hive
Hive is a social network in which people find the opportunity of expressing their interests and share their opinion about the things they love; based on that, find others with a similar taste to them.
In the existing social networks like Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn we mostly see the application of status homophily. More precisely, in these social networks, users are connected with their classmates, colleagues, family and such like. In contrast, Hive targets value homophily, in which focuses on cultivating users connection based on their interests.
By understanding the psychological behaviours of people based on the concept of homophily, Hive tries to empower the user and strengths the possibility of finding similar partners to establish an effective and active connection.
Hive provides a structure to support users; both in finding and building a virtual society of similar people to themselves, and observing other different tastes and experience different tastes.