Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Social ties help drive user content generation that leads to online ad revenue growth

Date:
December 11, 2012
Source:
Columbia Business School
Summary:
Study reveals that networking sites can drive advertising revenue by encouraging the density of social ties, or boosting the level of friendship or social connections between users.

A research study on online social networks reveals that networking sites can drive advertising revenue by encouraging the density of social ties, or boosting the level of friendship or social connections between users. According to the findings, in a forthcoming paper in Management Science, more connected users prompt increases in visitation and browsing on the site, which helps stimulate online advertising revenue growth.

The research co-authored by Scott Shriver, assistant professor of marketing at Columbia Business School, Harikesh Nair, associate professor of marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Reto Hofstetter of the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland introduces new techniques to determine whether more connected users generate more content and vice versa. The researchers examined the history of social tie formation and content creation on Soulrider.com, an online community of windsurfers based in Switzerland. "Prior work in this area has reported a correlational relationship between social ties and user-generated content," said Professor Shriver. "Our work attempts to go further by establishing and measuring causal effects."

To address the question of causality, the authors leveraged the fact that users often post blogs about wind speeds at their preferred surfing locations. After merging the Soulrider.com data with wind speed information from the Swiss meteorological office, the researchers were able to establish that wind speeds correlated with content production but not social tie formation. The team was then able to explain observed content production in terms of factors independent of social ties, which in turn allowed them to separately identify the causal effects of interest.

"One of the main issues that site operators like Facebook deal with is how to monetize the content that is created on their sites," said Professor Shriver. "Our research finds that the density of the links between users on the network is critical for the ultimate success of the social network. It's not sufficient to just get people to join the site -- increasing the strength of the relationships is key to increasing page views and therefore ad revenue."

Ultimately, the research shows that being more connected has a stronger effect on content generation than the reverse. And, establishing more user connections generates more content on the network, which leads to a self-reinforcing virtuous cycle that helps sustain the growth of the network site.

The research suggests that online social networks should give users incentives to connect with friends in order to maintain network and revenue growth. The study proposes that offering better content generation tools, such as facilitating tie-formation activity like "friending" functions and including tools that enable comments and photo tagging, will help increase user interaction on networking sites. The other option for networking sites is to generate artificial content by paying users to post content, but the incentives approach may be preferable as artificial content generation runs the risk of alienating users if it is discovered.

Study data also shows that 80 percent of the content was generated by 10 percent of users. Based on this finding, Professor Shriver noted, "Targeting ads specifically towards the most productive users in this 10 percent group may be a more viable way of generating additional page views, increasing click-through rates, and thereby boosting ad revenues."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia Business School. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Columbia Business School. "Social ties help drive user content generation that leads to online ad revenue growth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121211113110.htm>.
Columbia Business School. (2012, December 11). Social ties help drive user content generation that leads to online ad revenue growth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121211113110.htm
Columbia Business School. "Social ties help drive user content generation that leads to online ad revenue growth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121211113110.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins