The role of social networks in online reviewing

Zhihong Ke, De Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Online reviews are a dominant resource for consumer decisions but what leads users to write reviews remains largely unexamined. Extant research on user content generation has primarily focused on what motivates users to contribute content, and less on the effects of informational and social environment surrounding these users. The aim of this study is to examine how a user's contribution to an online review platform is affected by reviews of his/her friends from both informational and social perspectives. We expect that information, reciprocity, and social comparison are primary drivers for contribution. Among friends who wrote reviews, we predict that those who carry redundant information have less effect on the focal user' contribution, whereas those who are strong-tie friends of the focal user have a stronger effect. Furthermore, we expect that users' status moderates these effects such that an elite user responds more positively to friends who carry redundant information, and more negatively to those who are strong-tie friends, compared to non-elite users. Our expected findings hold implications for online review platforms in terms of highlighting the most relevant reviews generated by one's peers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, PACIS 2014
PublisherPacific Asia Conference on Information Systems
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event18th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, PACIS 2014 - Chengdu, China
Duration: Jun 24 2014Jun 28 2014


Other18th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, PACIS 2014


  • Online reviews
  • Social influence
  • User-generated content


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