2019- Working Papers: Technology and Information Systems

Expand all

The impact of social vs. non-social referral sources on online news consumption, 10 pp.
S. Bar-Gill, Y. Inbar and S. Reichman
(Working paper no. 8/2019)
Research no.: 01990100

As news consumption shifts online, referring channels assume a growing role in the market for online news, creating new challenges and opportunities for news organizations. This research combines field and lab experiments, and analysis of large-scale clickstream data, to study the effects of social versus non-social referral sources on news consumption on a news outlet’s website. We propose that referring channels create a new type of priming effect, denoted the referral effect, as unique features of the referring channel affect user behavior in a subsequent news visit. We find that social referral effects manifest as more focused reading – visits with fewer articles, shorter durations, yet higher reading completion rates - compared to non-social referrals. We further find lower sharing rates following social media referrals, likely due to a lower perceived novelty to peers of content discovered via social channels. The results provide insights applicable to news outlets’ social media strategies.

Tel Aviv University makes every effort to respect copyright. If you own copyright to the content contained
here and / or the use of such content is in your opinion infringing, Contact us as soon as possible >>