•We model predictors of perceived bridging and bonding social capital on Twitter.
•Twitter use determines perceived online bridging social capital.
•The number of followers predicted perceived online bonding social capital.
•The number of followees perceived online bridging social capital.
•The study also revealed that one may have too many followers/followees.
The present study investigates the influence of Twitter use and the number of followers and followees on perceived bridging and bonding online social capital. Data from a convenience sample of Twitter users (N = 264) indicate that bonding social capital is associated with the number of followers whereas bridging social capital is influenced by the number of followees. Thus, the directed friendship model on Twitter affects different forms of social capital differently. In addition, the study found a negative curvilinear effect of the number of followees on bridging and the number of followers on bonding online social capital. This indicates that the number of followees/followers has positive effects on online bridging/bonding social capital, but only to a certain point. The paper concludes with a discussion of the results in light of theoretical considerations and of implications for future research on the effects of Twitter on social capital.
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