The Impact of Subscription Reciprocity on Charitable Content Creation and Sharing: Evidence from Twitter on Giving Tuesday

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Social broadcasting sites have grown from an information diffusion channel to a public medium that facilitates public conversations of charitable social movements. Two mechanisms foster user participation in charitable social movements: content creation and content sharing. Users can create original content to express their attitude of giving and promote their most valued nonprofit organizations, enriching the depth of the conversation. They can also share others’ content to expedite the diffusion of high-quality content, expanding the breadth of the discussion. This paper investigates the impact of reciprocal and nonreciprocal followees (i.e., a followee is an account to which other users subscribe) on followers’ decisions to create and share content. Analyzing the charitable movement of Giving Tuesday on Twitter, we find that original charitable content creation is prompted by reciprocal followees’ participation but not nonreciprocal followees’ participation in this movement. We also find that charitable content sharing is evoked by both reciprocal and nonreciprocal followees, with nonreciprocal followees having a greater impact. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.
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Author Xue (Jane) Tan, Yingda Lu, and Yong Tan
Volume 45
Issue 2
Keywords Twitter, reciprocity, charitable movements, content creation, content sharing
Page Numbers 535-562; DOI: 10.25300/MISQ/2021/14676
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