Six Patterns for Persuasion in Online Social Networks

  • G. Michael Weiksner
  • B. J. Fogg
  • Xingxin Liu
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5033)


Social psychology research has shown that persuasion happens in predictable ways. To identify patterns of persuasion in online social networks, we studied Facebook as a persuasive technology. Using a Grounded Theory approach, we found and named six persuasion patterns. Four patterns that led to large-scale viral adoption—Provoke and Retaliate, Reveal and Compare, Expression, and Group Exchange—are native to Facebook. Two patterns—Competition and Deception—are adapted to Facebook. We describe these native and adapted patterns and offer psychological explanations for each. We conclude that persuasion in online social networks follows regular, observable patterns, and we suggest promising avenues for future research.


Online Social Networks Facebook Persuasion Social Psychology Applications Patterns Persuasive Technology Viral Growth Captology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Michael Weiksner
    • 1
  • B. J. Fogg
    • 1
  • Xingxin Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Stanford UniversityStanford

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