Network Size and Content Generation on Social Media Platforms

60 Pages Posted: 31 May 2016 Last revised: 2 Mar 2019

See all articles by Zaiyan Wei

Zaiyan Wei

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management

Mo Xiao

University of Arizona - Eller College of Management - Department of Economics

Rong Rong

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Date Written: February 2019

Abstract

Past literature focuses on how social media users alter their content-generating activities as they gain followers. We distinguish the role of the followee network (group of people being followed by the user) from the role of the follower network on a user's incentives to generate content. When a user follows more people, she may spend more time on consuming content than generating content (substitution effect). She may also gain more information from her followees to facilitate her own content generation (information sharing effect). We find, through different identification strategies using data from two influential social media platforms, that the substitution effect dominates the information sharing effect. The effects of the followees and followers are asymmetrical both in signs and magnitudes.

Keywords: Social media, Social networks, User-generated content, Peer effects

Suggested Citation

Wei, Zaiyan and Xiao, Mo and Rong, Rong, Network Size and Content Generation on Social Media Platforms (February 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2786709 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2786709

Zaiyan Wei (Contact Author)

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management ( email )

100 Grant St
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2076
United States
(765) 494-5958 (Phone)

Mo Xiao

University of Arizona - Eller College of Management - Department of Economics ( email )

McClelland Hall
P.O. Box 210108
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States

Rong Rong

University of Massachusetts Amherst ( email )

United States
7035319637 (Phone)

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