Engagement by Design: An Empirical Study of the 'Reactions' Feature on Facebook Business Pages

ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, Forthcoming

36 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2020

See all articles by Mochen Yang

Mochen Yang

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Yuqing Ching Ren

Carlson School of Management

Gediminas Adomavicius

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Date Written: July 26, 2020

Abstract

We study the impact and interplay of social design features on the engagement behaviors toward user-generated content on Facebook business pages. By examining the introduction of the “Reactions” feature on Facebook, we aim to understand how the introduction of a new engagement feature affects the overall engagement activities and the use of existing engagement features. We found evidence of a positive effect of Reactions on overall engagement levels. Furthermore, the introduction of the Reactions feature had heterogeneous effects on the use of existing engagement features. Posts that received Reactions also ended up receiving more Likes and Comments than what they would have received before the feature change. However, the opposite is true for posts that received no Reactions, although the effect sizes were small. These effects were detected within the first four weeks after the feature introduction, and persisted after six months, indicating long-term structural changes in users’ engagement behaviors.

Keywords: social computing, social media, user engagement, user-generated content, feature design, Facebook business pages, heterogeneous effects

Suggested Citation

Yang, Mochen and Ren, Yuqing Ching and Adomavicius, Gediminas, Engagement by Design: An Empirical Study of the 'Reactions' Feature on Facebook Business Pages (July 26, 2020). ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3660923

Mochen Yang (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Yuqing Ching Ren

Carlson School of Management ( email )

420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
612-625-5242 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.csom.umn.edu/Page2075.aspx?type=staff&eid=38674251

Gediminas Adomavicius

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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