Does Give-and-Take Really Matter? Dynamics of Social Interactions in Social Network

Date
2017-01-04
Authors
Chung, Sunghun
Animesh, Animesh
Han, Kunsoo
Pinsonneault, Alain
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Abstract
Despite the increasing attention paid to the social interaction in online social networks, it is still not clear how social media users interact with each other, consume different content, and expand their social network. This study conceptualizes two types of user engagement (internal and external) and empirically examines the dynamics between user’s engagement, friends’ engagement, and network size. Using detailed social media activity data collected from over 20,000 Facebook users for three years, we find that when people externally engage in their friends’ social space rather than one’s own space, they can make more friends and also receive friends’ engagement in one’s own social space. However, when people receive more friends’ engagement in their social space and make more friends, they are likely to reduce their engagement in social media (both externally as well as internally). Our findings can provide useful insights for the literature on social ties, user-generated content, and online peer influence.
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Keywords
online social networks, panel vector autoregression, social interaction, social media, user engagement
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