Handbook of Social Network Technologies and Applications

pp 185-220


Churn in Social Networks

  • Marcel KarnstedtAffiliated withDigital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), NUI Galway Email author 
  • , Tara Hennessy
  • , Jeffrey Chan
  • , Partha Basuchowdhuri
  • , Conor Hayes
  • , Thorsten Strufe

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


In the past, churn has been identified as an issue across most industry sectors. In its most general sense it refers to the rate of loss of customers from a company’s customer base. There is a simple reason for the attention churn attracts: churning customers mean a loss of revenue. Emerging from business spaces like telecommunications (telcom) and broadcast providers, where churn is a major issue, it is also regarded as a crucial problem in many other businesses, such as online games creators, but also online social networks and discussion sites. Companies aim at identifying the risk of churn in its early stages, as it is usually much cheaper to retain a customer than to try to win him or her back. If this risk can be accurately predicted, marketing departments can target customers efficiently with tailored incentives to prevent them from leaving.