Journal of Computer Science and Technology ›› 2023, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (2): 219-227.doi: 10.1007/s11390-022-2845-7

Special Issue: Computer Networks and Distributed Computing

• Cover Article •     Next Articles

Facebook and Tencent Data Fit a Cube Law Better than Metcalfe’s Law

Xing-Zhou Zhang (张星洲), Member, CCF, ACM, IEEE, and Zhi-Wei Xu (徐志伟), Fellow, CCF, Member, ACM, IEEE   

  1. Institute of Computing Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China

    University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

  • Received:2022-09-20 Revised:2022-11-24 Accepted:2022-11-24 Online:2023-05-10 Published:2023-05-10
  • Contact: Xing-Zhou Zhang
  • About author:Xing-Zhou Zhang received his Ph.D. degree in computer science and technology from Institute of Computing Technology (ICT), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, in 2020. He is an assistant professor of ICT, CAS, Beijing. His current research interests include distributed computing systems and edge computing.
  • Supported by:

    This work is sponsored by the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation under Grant No. 2021M693227.

Metcalfe's law states that the value of a network grows as the square of the number of its users (Vn2), which was validated by actual data of Facebook and Tencent in 2013–2015. Since then, the users and the values of Facebook and Tencent have increased significantly. Is Metcalfe's law still valid? This paper leverages the latest data of Facebook and Tencent to fit the network effect laws and makes the following observations: 1) actual data of network values fit a cube law (V ∝ n3) better than Metcalfe's law; 2) actual data of network costs fit a cube law; 3) actual data of network sizes show a growth trend matching the netoid function well. We also discuss the underlying factors affecting such observations and the generality of the network effect laws.

Key words: network effect; Metcalfe’s law; cube law; netoid function;

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[1] Xing-Zhou Zhang, Jing-Jie Liu, Zhi-Wei Xu. Tencent and Facebook Data Validate Metcalfe's Law [J]. , 2015, 30(2): 246-251.
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