Strategical Content Provision and Online Networks

Abstract

This paper studies how influencers strategically provide content on a content platform. Using a theoretical model, we introduce two types of strategies that influencers employ to provide content on online platforms. An influencer chooses either to answer a wide range of questions (broad-coverage strategy) or to only answer some specialized questions (focus strategy). Using data from the largest Chinese Question-and-Answer (Q&A) platform, we study how influencers’ strategies for content provision are affected by their peers. Our data includes the number of answers each influencer provides and the type of topics related to each answer, which allows us to construct statistical measures to define the focus level of an influencer on the content provision. Observing the follower network of influencers allows us to estimate how an influencer’s strategic choices are affected by the choices of the peers she follows. We find that the focus level of influencers on content provision is significantly affected by peers who have a high online reputation. This finding indicates that social networking is an effective tool for channelling content diversification and reduces users’ uncertainty on the type of content to contribute.

Tong Wang
Tong Wang
Lecturer in Business Economics

My research interests include Economics Theory, Crypto-finance and Digital Economics.

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