Content Sharing in a Social Broadcasting Environment: Evidence from Twitter

36 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2013

See all articles by Zhan Shi

Zhan Shi

Arizona State University (ASU) - W.P. Carey School of Business

Huaxia Rui

University of Rochester - Simon Business School

Andrew B. Whinston

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Information, Risk and Operations Management

Date Written: October 16, 2013

Abstract

The rise of social broadcasting technologies has greatly facilitated open access to information worldwide, not only by powering decentralized information production and consumption, but also by expediting information diffusion through social interactions like content sharing. We study users’ voluntary information sharing in the context of Twitter, the predominant social broadcasting site, by modeling both the technology and user behavior. We collect a detailed dataset about the official content-sharing function on Twitter, called retweet, and document the statistical relationships between the users’ social network characteristics and their retweeting acts. We then estimate a more structural model using conditional Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) method. The empirical results convincingly support our hypothesis that weak ties are more likely to engage in the social exchange process of content sharing. Specifically, we find that after an author posts a median quality tweet (as defined in the sample), the likelihood that a unidirectional follower will retweet is 3.1% higher than the likelihood that a bidirectional follower will.

Keywords: Twitter, social networks, retweet, social broadcasting

Suggested Citation

Shi, Zhan and Rui, Huaxia and Whinston, Andrew B., Content Sharing in a Social Broadcasting Environment: Evidence from Twitter (October 16, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2341243 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2341243

Zhan Shi (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - W.P. Carey School of Business ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-3706
United States

Huaxia Rui

University of Rochester - Simon Business School ( email )

Rochester, NY 14627
United States

Andrew B. Whinston

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Information, Risk and Operations Management ( email )

CBA 5.202
Austin, TX 78712
United States
512-471-8879 (Phone)

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