London: The number of friends you have on social networking sites like Facebook, can reveal how successful you are, and even how often you move, researchers have said.

Researchers from the University of Virginia and the London Business school said the ''perfect'' number of friends actually depends on several socioeconomic factors, and varies from country to country.

Shigehiro Oishi, a psychology professor in the University of Virginia's College of Arts & Sciences, and Selin Kesebir of the London Business School explored the benefits of social networking strategies in two studies currently published in the journal Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

"In the age of Facebook, many Americans seem to opt for a broad, shallow networking strategy," a daily quoted the researchers, as saying.

"Yet cross-cultural research has shown that having many friends is not always viewed positively outside the United States," they added.

According to the paper, the researchers claimed that one reason why Americans may prefer a large social network is that 'Americans move around a lot'.

Another important factor may be the economic conditions at a given time, they added.

"When times are prosperous, your friends are less likely to need much help, whether it's covering a hospital bill or providing babysitting, and so a broad network of friends is easy to maintain," the paper quoted them, as saying.

"But when times aren't as flush, having more friends might incur huge costs in terms of both time and resources," they said.


Latest News from Lifestyle News Desk