Behavior variations and their implications for popularity promotions: From elites to mass in Weibo

by   Bowen Shi, et al.

The boom in social media with regard to producing and consuming information simultaneously implies the crucial role of online user influence in determining content popularity. In particular, understanding behavior variations between the influential elites and the mass grassroots is an important issue in communication. However, how their behavior varies across user categories and content domains, and how these differences influence content popularity are rarely addressed. From a novel view of seven content-domains, a detailed picture of behavior variations among five user groups, from both views of elites and mass, is drawn in Weibo, one of the most popular Twitter-like services in China. Interestingly, elites post more diverse contents with video links while the mass possess retweeters of higher loyalty. According to these variations, user-oriented actions of enhancing content popularity are discussed and testified. The most surprising finding is that the diversity of contents do not always bring more retweets, and the mass and elites should promote content popularity by increasing their retweeter counts and loyalty, respectively. Our results for the first time demonstrate the possibility of highly individualized strategies of popularity promotions in social media, instead of a universal principle.


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