View, Like, Comment, Post: Analyzing User Engagement by Topic at 4 Levels across 5 Social Media Platforms for 53 News Organizations


We evaluate the effects of the topics of social media posts on audiences across five social media platforms (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit) at four levels of user engagement. We collected 3,163,373 social posts from 53 news organizations across five platforms during an 8month period. We analyzed the differences in news organization platform strategies by focusing on topic variations by organization and the corresponding effect on user engagement at four levels. Findings show that topic distribution varies by platform, although there are some topics that are popular across most platforms. User engagement levels vary both by topics and platforms. Finally, we show that one can predict if an article will be publicly shared to another platform by individuals with precision of approximately 80%. This research has implications for news organizations desiring to increase and to prioritize types of user engagement.

Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM)