How 'Social' are Social News Sites? Exploring the Motivations for Using Reddit.com
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How 'Social' are Social News Sites? Exploring the Motivations for Using Reddit.com

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Social news sites allow their users to submit and vote on online news stories, thereby bypassing the authority and power of traditional newspaper editors. In this paper we explore what motivates users ...

Social news sites allow their users to submit and vote on online news stories, thereby bypassing the authority and power of traditional newspaper editors. In this paper we explore what motivates users of social news sites, such as Reddit, to participate in this collaborative editorial process. We present a tiered framework of motivational factors for participating on social news sites, based on a comprehensive literature review, drawn from fields like social media research, sociology, (social) psychology, and behavioral economics. We then validate this framework through a survey deployed on Reddit and use the results of this survey to focus the motivational framework for the social news domain. The recreational value of the information posted to Reddit, along with the powerful possibilities for customization appear to be the most powerful incentives for using Reddit. Perhaps surprisingly, the social aspect of social news sites is not a motivating factor for the majority of Reddit users. Influencing the placement and reception of news stories in their niche communities of interest is what draws people to sites such as Reddit.

(Paper presentation @ iConference 2014, Berlin)

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How 'Social' are Social News Sites? Exploring the Motivations for Using Reddit.com Presentation Transcript

  • 1. How ‘Social’ are Social News Sites? Exploring the Motivations for Using Reddit.com Toine Bogers1,2 & Rasmus Nordenhoff Wernersen3 1 Aalborg University Copenhagen 2 Royal School of Library & Information Science, University of Copenhagen 3 The Administrative Library, Copenhagen iConference 2014, Berlin March 6, 2014
  • 2. Bibliotek.dk Social news site, where people submit, discuss, and vote for stories
  • 3. Bibliotek.dk Active discussions on nearly any topic imaginable news site Social
  • 4. Bibliotek.dk Subreddits are communities focused on a specific topic
  • 5. Bibliotek.dk Requesting favors from other redditors (= Reddit users)
  • 6. Bibliotek.dk Celebrities & politicians answer questions on Ask Me Anything
  • 7. Bibliotek.dk Explaining complex issues like one would to a five-year-old
  • 8. Outline • Introduction • Related work • Methodology - Framework of motivational factors - Survey creation & deployment • Results • Discussion & conclusions 8
  • 9. Introduction • Social news sites allow users to submit, discuss, and vote on news stories and websites - Popular alternative to online newspapers → was 68th most popular website in the world in January 2014 according to Alexa • But what motivates users to participate on social news sites? - Is it the power to help determine which stories make it to the front page? - Or the possibility to contribute news stories? - Or perhaps the social aspect of connecting and discussing with like-minded users? 9
  • 10. Contributions of this work 1. Comprehensive literature review of motivations for online user participation 2. Organization of motivational factors into coherent framework 3. Empirical validation of framework through survey deployed on Reddit.com 10
  • 11. Related work • Motivations for participating on social news sites - Lerman (2007) and Halavais (2009) analyzed posting dynamics on Digg.com - Found that positive feedback and recognition was important for continued participation; weak ties were more valuable for this than friendship relations • Other relevant fields of study - Social media (e.g., social networks like Facebook) - Online communities (e.g., mailing lists) - Online collaboration (e.g., Wikipedia) - Social psychology & sociology (e.g., Milgram) - Behavioral economics (e.g., Maslow) 11
  • 12. Motivational framework • We constructed our motivation framework as follows - Collected a set of 55 snippets and quotes from the reviewed literature - Paired card-sorting to group snippets into 26 motivational factors - Further grouping identified seven mid-level categories - Final grouping produced four top-level categories ‣ Personal (P) ‣ Social (S) ‣ Informational (I) ‣ Website characteristics (W) 12
  • 13. Motivational framework Social Personal Website characteristics Informational Self-promotion & reputation Recreation Friendship Community Consumption Exchange Self-promotion Curiosity Social filtering Trust Information consumption Information quantity P.1 Social exchange P.2 Reputation P.6 Entertainment P.7 Procrastination P.3 Status P.4 P.8 S.1 Presence of friends Following friends Making new friends S.5 Socializing S.2 S.6 Group identity S.3 S.7 Group size S.4 Information quality I.1 Functionality I.4 Debating I.2 Shopping I.3 W.1 Chatting I.5 Information sharing W.2 Credibility I.6 W.3 Usability S.8 W.4 Personal growth P.5 13
  • 14. Survey development • Empirical validation of motivation framework through a survey • Survey consisted of six parts - Activity level ‣ Reddit user profile, active voting/commenting/posting behavior? - Four parts, corresponding to each of the four top-level categories ‣ Questions corresponding to each of the 26 factors ‣ Open comment fields were included after each of these five parts - Demographics ‣ Gender, age, country of origin 14
  • 15. Survey deployment • Survey deployed on Reddit.com - Most popular social news site → 3.4 billion page views in August 2012 • Request for survey participation posted to relevant subreddits - Very active removal of off-topic posts from subreddits - Posted to five subreddits with ~120,000 subscribers ‣ Assistance, Favors, SampleSize, Self, and SocialMedia - 282 responses in a two-week period ‣ 97% of respondents answered within 5 days 15
  • 16. Results: Demographics Country of origin! Australia! 2%! UK! 6%! Other! 15%! Canada! 12%! US! 65%! > 45 yrs! 3%! yrs 35-44 yrs! 6% 6%! 25-34 yrs! 32%! Age! < 24 yrs! 59%! N = 279 • Distribution very similar to 2011 survey of 32,756 Reddit users 16
  • 17. Results: Activity levels Posting! Commenting! Lurker! 8%! Lurker! Active! 15%! 12%! Casual! 73%! Voting! Lurker! 14%! Active! 37%! Casual! 49%! Casual! 22%! Active! 70%! N = 282 • Based on work by Nonnecke & Preece (2000), Reddit users in our survey are more active than expected → still good generalizabilty 17
  • 18. Functionality (W.1)! Debating (I.5)! Reputation (P.3)! Debating (I.5)! Reputation (P.3)! Information consumption (S.2)! Presence of friends (I.1)! Social exchange (P.2)! Information consumption (S.2)! Presence of friends (I.1)! Shopping (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! Credibility (W.3)! Shopping (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! Results: Framework validation Group identity (S.7)! Information quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Information quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Functionality (W.2)! Chatting (W.1)! Functionality (W.2)! Chatting (W.1)! Social exchange (P.4)! Status (P.2)! Socializing (S.6)! Social exchange (P.4)! Status (P.2)! Credibility (S.3)! Following friends (W.3)! Self-promotion (P.1)! Credibility (S.3)! Following friends (W.3)! Group identity (S.7)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Entertainment (P.7)! Socializing (S.6)! Disagree! Curiosity (P.1)! Self-promotion (P.6)! Information (I.6)! Information consumption (P.3)! Reputation (I.1)! Presence Social filtering (S.1)! Reputation (P.3)! of friends (S.2)! Presence of friends (S.2)! Personal growth (P.5)! MakingFunctionality (W.1)! Making new friends (S.4)! Social exchange (W.2)! Chatting (P.2)! Personal growth (P.5)! new friends (S.4)! Making new friends (S.4)! Chatting (W.2)! Chatting (W.2)! Status (P.4)! Credibility (W.3)! Status (P.4)! Status (P.4)! Group friends (S.3)! Following identity (S.7)! Following friends (S.3)! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! Socializing (S.6)! 0! Following friends (S.3)!100! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Self-promotion (P.1)! Disagree! Trust (S.5)! Strongly agree! Information sharing (I.6)! (I.6)! Group size (S.8)! Reputation (P.3)! Debating (I.5)! Social filtering (S.1)! Strongly disagree! Trust (S.5)! Social filtering (S.1)! Usability (S.8)! Group size (W.4)! Disagree! Self-promotion (P.1)! Information sharing Procrastination (I.6)! Information sharing (P.8)! Information growth (P.5)! Personal quality (I.2)! sharing Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Socializing (S.6)! Group size (S.8)! Information quantity (S.5)! Trust (I.4)! Presence Shopping (S.2)! of friends (I.3)! Trust disagree! Strongly (S.5)! Group identity (S.7)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! Strongly disagree! Agree! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Disagree! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! Neutral! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Strongly disagree! 18
  • 19. Shopping (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! Functionality (W.1)! Information quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Social exchange (P.2)! Functionality (W.2)! Chatting (W.1)! Social exchange (P.4)! Status (P.2)! Results: Strong motivating factors Group identity (S.7)! Credibility (W.3)! Credibility (S.3)! Following friends (W.3)! Socializing Group identity (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! (S.7)! Strongly agree! Agree! Self-promotion (P.1)!Neutral! Entertainment (P.7)! Socializing (S.6)! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Top five factors all have a median score of 5 (‘Strongly agree’) Curiosity (P.6)! Self-promotion(S.5)! (P.1)! Trust Information quantity (S.5)! Trust (I.4)! Information sharing (I.6)! Procrastination (P.8)! Information sharing(S.8)! (I.6)! Group size Usability (S.8)! Group size (W.4)! Social filtering (S.1)! Debating (I.5)! Social filtering (S.1)! Reputation (P.3)! Information consumption (P.3)! Reputation (I.1)! Presence of friends (S.2)! Presence Shopping (S.2)! of friends (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! Information growth (P.5)! Personal quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Functionality (S.4)! Making new friends (W.1)! Chatting (W.2)! Social exchange (W.2)! Chatting (P.2)! Status (W.3)! Credibility (P.4)! Status (P.4)! Group friends (S.3)! Following identity (S.7)! Following friends (S.3)! Socializing (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Self-promotion (P.1)! Disagree! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Strongly disagree! 19
  • 20. Shopping (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! Functionality (W.1)! Information quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Social exchange (P.2)! Functionality (W.2)! Chatting (W.1)! Social exchange (P.4)! Status (P.2)! Results: Strong motivating factors Group identity (S.7)! Credibility (W.3)! Credibility (S.3)! Following friends (W.3)! Socializing Group identity (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! (S.7)! Strongly agree! Agree! Self-promotion (P.1)!Neutral! Entertainment (P.7)! Socializing (S.6)! Disagree! Strongly disagree! “It cures my boredom.” Curiosity (P.6)! Self-promotion(S.5)! (P.1)! Trust Information quantity (S.5)! Trust (I.4)! Information sharing (I.6)! “I use Reddit to procrastinate.” Procrastination (P.8)! Information sharing(S.8)! (I.6)! Group size Usability (S.8)! Group size (W.4)! Social filtering (S.1)! Debating (I.5)! Social filtering (S.1)! Reputation (P.3)! “I use reddit because it is Information consumption (P.3)! Reputation (I.1)! Presence of friends (S.2)! Presence Shopping (S.2)! of friends (I.3)! fun.” Personal growth (P.5)! Information growth (P.5)! Personal quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Functionality (S.4)! Making new friends (W.1)! “I don't really use it Chatting (W.2)! Social exchange (W.2)! Chatting (P.2)! for a social factor. It's Status (W.3)! Credibility (P.4)! Status (P.4)! more entertainment.” Group friends (S.3)! Following identity (S.7)! Following friends (S.3)! “Reddit seems to trigger in my brain the release of positive chemicals. I seem to use it much like a smoker would a cigarette.” Socializing (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Self-promotion (P.1)! Disagree! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Strongly disagree! 20
  • 21. Shopping (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! Functionality (W.1)! Information quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Social exchange (P.2)! Functionality (W.2)! Chatting (W.1)! Social exchange (P.4)! Status (P.2)! Results: Strong motivating factors Group identity (S.7)! Credibility (W.3)! Credibility (S.3)! Following friends (W.3)! Socializing Group identity (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! (S.7)! Strongly agree! Agree! Self-promotion (P.1)!Neutral! Entertainment (P.7)! Socializing (S.6)! Disagree! Strongly disagree! “I like how simple it is for a noob like me to use. Seriously, that’s an accomplishment.” Curiosity (P.6)! Self-promotion(S.5)! (P.1)! Trust Information quantity (S.5)! Trust (I.4)! Information sharing (I.6)! Procrastination (P.8)! Information sharing(S.8)! (I.6)! Group size Usability (S.8)! Group size (W.4)! Social filtering (S.1)! Debating (I.5)! Social filtering (S.1)! Reputation (P.3)! Information consumption (P.3)! Reputation (I.1)! Presence of friends (S.2)! Presence Shopping (S.2)! of friends (I.3)! “I enjoy the wide range of content, it keeps me entertained for much longer than a site dedicated to a single type of content.” Personal growth (P.5)! Information growth (P.5)! Personal quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Functionality (S.4)! Making new friends (W.1)! Chatting (W.2)! Social exchange (W.2)! Chatting (P.2)! Status (W.3)! Credibility (P.4)! Status (P.4)! Group friends (S.3)! Following identity (S.7)! Following friends (S.3)! Socializing (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Self-promotion (P.1)! Disagree! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Strongly disagree! 21
  • 22. Shopping (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! Functionality (W.1)! Information quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Social exchange (P.2)! Functionality (W.2)! Chatting (W.1)! Social exchange (P.4)! Status (P.2)! Results: Strong motivating factors Group identity (S.7)! Credibility (W.3)! Credibility (S.3)! Following friends (W.3)! Socializing Group identity (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! (S.7)! Strongly agree! Agree! Self-promotion (P.1)!Neutral! Entertainment (P.7)! Socializing (S.6)! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Curiosity (P.6)! Self-promotion(S.5)! (P.1)! Trust Information quantity (S.5)! Trust (I.4)! Information sharing (I.6)! Procrastination (P.8)! Information sharing(S.8)! (I.6)! Group size Usability (S.8)! Group size (W.4)! Social filtering (S.1)! Debating (I.5)! Social filtering (S.1)! Reputation (P.3)! Information consumption (P.3)! Reputation (I.1)! Presence of friends (S.2)! Next seven factors have a median score of 4 (‘Agree’) Presence Shopping (S.2)! of friends (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! Information growth (P.5)! Personal quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Functionality (S.4)! Making new friends (W.1)! Chatting (W.2)! Social exchange (W.2)! Chatting (P.2)! Status (W.3)! Credibility (P.4)! Status (P.4)! Group friends (S.3)! Following identity (S.7)! Following friends (S.3)! Socializing (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Self-promotion (P.1)! Disagree! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Strongly disagree! 22
  • 23. Shopping (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! Functionality (W.1)! Information quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! “With 19 million users (I think) Functionality (W.2)! Chatting (W.1)! there's almost no news story Credibility (W.3)! Social exchange (P.4)! Status (P.2)! Results: Strong motivating factors sn't have an eyewitness that doe Group identity (S.7)! Credibility (S.3)! Following friends (W.3)! on reddit. The difference Socializing Group identity (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! (S.7)! “I agree! it Agree! Neutral!world news.” disagree! ween reading what a use to get the Disagree! Strongly bet Strongly Self-promotion (P.1)! Entertainment (S.6)! Socializing (P.7)! reporter who showed up after Curiosity (P.6)! Self-promotion(S.5)! (P.1)! Trust the fact wrote and somebody Information quantity (S.5)! Trust (I.4)! Information sharing (I.6)!my newspaper.” who can honestly say, ‘I was “Reddit is Procrastination (P.8)! Information sharing(S.8)! (I.6)! Group size there...’ is very powerful.” Social exchange (P.2)! Usability (S.8)! Group size (W.4)! Social filtering (S.1)! Debating (I.5)! Social filtering (S.1)! Reputation (P.3)! “I use Reddit to follow Presence of friends (S.2)! niche news- news about Presence Shopping (S.2)! of friends (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! things that are important Information growth (P.5)! Personal quality (I.2)! to me but aren't Making new friends (S.4)! Functionality (S.4)! Making new friends (W.1)! important enough to a Chatting (W.2)! Social exchange (W.2)! Chatting (P.2)! wide enough audience Status (W.3)! Credibility (P.4)! Status (P.4)! for the stories to end up Group friends (S.7)! Following identity (S.3)! (S.3)! Following friends in mainstream channels.” 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! Socializing (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! 0! Information consumption (P.3)! Reputation (I.1)! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Self-promotion (P.1)! Disagree! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Strongly disagree! 23
  • 24. Shopping (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! Functionality (W.1)! Information quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Social exchange (P.2)! Functionality (W.2)! Chatting (W.1)! Social exchange (P.4)! Status (P.2)! Results: Strong motivating factors Group identity (S.7)! Credibility (W.3)! Credibility (S.3)! Following friends (W.3)! Socializing Group identity (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! (S.7)! Strongly agree! Agree! Self-promotion (P.1)!Neutral! Entertainment (P.7)! Socializing (S.6)! Disagree! Curiosity (P.6)! Self-promotion(S.5)! (P.1)! Trust Information quantity (S.5)! Trust (I.4)! Information sharing (I.6)! Procrastination (P.8)! Information sharing(S.8)! (I.6)! Group size ation, specifically the “The customiz breddits and smaller idea of su s about specific topics, is communitie ason why I use Reddit.” the largest re Strongly disagree! Usability (S.8)! Group size (W.4)! Social filtering (S.1)! Debating (I.5)! Social filtering (S.1)! Reputation (P.3)! Information consumption (P.3)! t Reputation (I.1)! “A Presence of friends (S.2)! least it's not Fox News.” Presence Shopping (S.2)! of friends (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! Information growth (P.5)! Personal quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Functionality (S.4)! Making new friends (W.1)! Chatting (W.2)! Social exchange (W.2)! Chatting (P.2)! Status (W.3)! Credibility (P.4)! Status (P.4)! Group friends (S.3)! Following identity (S.7)! Following friends (S.3)! “I am very glad I can customize it so that subreddits I find very distasteful and offensive never show up and are in no way a part of my online experience.” Socializing (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Self-promotion (P.1)! Disagree! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Strongly disagree! 24
  • 25. Shopping (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! Functionality (W.1)! Information quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Social exchange (P.2)! Functionality (W.2)! Chatting (W.1)! Results: Weak motivating factors Group identity (S.7)! Credibility (W.3)! Social exchange (P.4)! Status (P.2)! Credibility (S.3)! Following friends (W.3)! Socializing Group identity (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! (S.7)! Strongly agree! Agree! Self-promotion (P.1)!Neutral! Socializing (S.6)! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Self-promotion(S.5)! (P.1)! Trust Trust (S.5)! Information sharing (I.6)! Information sharing (I.6)! Group size (S.8)! Group size (S.8)! Social filtering (S.1)! Social filtering (S.1)! Reputation (P.3)! Reputation (P.3)! These factors have a median score of 2 or lower (‘Disagree’ or ‘Strongly disagree’) Presence of friends (S.2)! Presence of friends (S.2)! Personal growth (P.5)! Personal growth (P.5)! Making new friends (S.4)! Making new friends (S.4)! Chatting (W.2)! Chatting (W.2)! Status (P.4)! Status (P.4)! Following friends (S.3)! Following friends (S.3)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Disagree! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Strongly disagree! 25
  • 26. Shopping (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! Functionality (W.1)! Information quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Social exchange (P.2)! Functionality (W.2)! Chatting (W.1)! “I use Reddit when I am Social exchange (P.4)! Status (P.2)! Results: Weak motivating factorsvoiding thinking about a Group Credibility(S.7)! identity (W.3)! Following friends (S.3)! things which I know need Socializing Group identity (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! (S.7)! addressing. It’s a terrible Strongly agree! Agree! Self-promotion (P.1)!Neutral! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Socializing (S.6)! coping mechanism and I Self-promotion(S.5)! (P.1)! Trust was a better person five Trust (S.5)! Information sharing (I.6)! years ago before I ever Information sharing (I.6)! Group size (S.8)! knew it existed.” Credibility (W.3)! Group size (S.8)! Social filtering (S.1)! Social filtering (S.1)! Reputation (P.3)! “I don't post comments that often nor do I post my views on certain subjects. I'm afraid of being downvoted, it makes me feel bad. I'm also afraid of people being rude or belittling me.” Reputation (P.3)! Presence of friends (S.2)! Presence of friends (S.2)! Personal growth (P.5)! Personal growth (P.5)! Making new friends (S.4)! Making new friends (S.4)! Chatting (W.2)! Chatting (W.2)! Status (P.4)! Status (P.4)! Following friends (S.3)! Following friends (S.3)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Disagree! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Strongly disagree! 26
  • 27. Shopping (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! Functionality (W.1)! Information quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Social exchange (P.2)! Functionality (W.2)! Chatting (W.1)! Results: Weak motivating factors Group identity (S.7)! Credibility (W.3)! Social exchange (P.4)! Status (P.2)! Credibility (S.3)! Following friends (W.3)! Socializing Group identity (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! (S.7)! Strongly agree! Agree! Self-promotion (P.1)!Neutral! Socializing (S.6)! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Self-promotion(S.5)! (P.1)! Trust Trust (S.5)! Information sharing (I.6)! Information sharing (I.6)! Group size (S.8)! Group size (S.8)! Social filtering (S.1)! Social filtering (S.1)! Reputation (P.3)! Reputation (P.3)! Presence of friends (S.2)! Presence of friends (S.2)! Personal growth (P.5)! Personal growth (P.5)! Making new friends (S.4)! Making new friends (S.4)! Chatting (W.2)! Chatting (W.2)! Status (P.4)! Status (P.4)! Following friends (S.3)! Following friends (S.3)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! 90! 100! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Disagree! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Strongly disagree! 27
  • 28. Shopping (I.3)! Personal growth (P.5)! Functionality (W.1)! Information quality (I.2)! Making new friends (S.4)! Social exchange (P.2)! Functionality (W.2)! Chatting (W.1)! Results: Weak motivating factors Group identity (S.7)! Credibility (W.3)! Social exchange (P.4)! Status (P.2)! Credibility (S.3)! Following friends (W.3)! have any social “Reddit fills holes that ddy . If Strongly disagree! ations for using Re m it motiv li real- fe friends can’t fill ith anything my experience w because they’re not interestedion eddit regarding social interact R in all the same things I am.” has been negative.” Socializing Group identity (S.6)! 0! 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 60! 70! 80! “I 100! n’t (S.7)! 90! do Strongly agree! Agree! Self-promotion (P.1)!Neutral! Socializing (S.6)! Disagree! Self-promotion(S.5)! (P.1)! Trust Trust (S.5)! Information sharing (I.6)! Information sharing (I.6)! Group size (S.8)! Group size (S.8)! Social filtering (S.1)! Social filtering (S.1)! “Reddit is not welcoming, it oes not feel like a group. It is d very judgmental and I rarely feel comfortable.” Reputation (P.3)! Reputation (P.3)! Presence of friends (S.2)! Presence of friends (S.2)! Personal growth (P.5)! Personal growth (P.5)! Making new friends (S.4)! Making new friends (S.4)! Chatting (W.2)! Chatting (W.2)! IfStatusfriends became active “ my (P.4)! Status (P.4)! “I like Reddit specifically Iw Redfriendsrs(S.3)! ould become Following dito (S.3)! Following friends becaus to u 20! 30! si 50! 60! less inclined 0!0! 10!se the 40! te.” 60!70! 80! 90!90! 100! e nobody I know uses it.” 10! 20! 30! 40! 50! 70! 80! 100! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Strongly agree! Agree! Neutral! Disagree! Disagree! Strongly disagree! Strongly disagree! 28
  • 29. Discussion • People use Reddit to be entertained! - Recreational value combined with the customization possibilities and the amount of information on Reddit are valued most by its users • So how ‘social’ are social news sites? Answer: not very! - Social motivators consistently valued as (relatively) unimportant ‣ Especially true for friendship-related factors • Difference between online newspapers and social news sites due to influence over reception and placement of news stories - Massive effort put into all kinds of social features might be misguided... 29
  • 30. Discussion • Possible caveat - Survey participants were more active than should be expected! - Lurkers are most likely underrepresented in our survey - However, social features require the most effort of all factors ‣ Lurkers are probably even less likely to be motivated by social factors! • Future work - Thorough content analysis of the comments collected - Triangulation of our findings by crawling interaction data for 86 participants who allowed their Reddit activity to be crawled 30
  • 31. Questions? Comments? Suggestions? 31