Network Size and Content Generation on Social Media Platforms
60 Pages Posted: 31 May 2016 Last revised: 2 Mar 2019
Date Written: February 2019
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
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