Drivers of Digital Attention: Evidence from a Social Media Experiment
81 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2022 Last revised: 18 Dec 2022
Date Written: December 17, 2022
I study demand for social media services by conducting an experiment where I monitor how participants spend time on digital services and shut off access to Instagram or YouTube on their mobile phones. I characterize how participants substitute their time during and after the restrictions, which motivates estimating a model of time usage with inertia. I apply the substitution patterns observed during the restriction period and implied by the model with and without inertia to a relevant market definition exercise to conclude that relevant markets may be larger than those considered by regulatory authorities for social media applications.
Keywords: Social Media, Attention Markets, Field Experiment, Consumer Demand, Relevant Markets
JEL Classification: L00; L40; L86
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation