Does Twitter matter? The impact of microblogging word of mouth on consumers' adoption of new movies
Hennig-Thurau Thorsten, Wiertz Caroline, Feldhaus Fabian
This research provides an empirical test of the “Twitter effect,” which postulates that microblogging word of mouth (MWOM) shared through Twitter and similar services affects early product adoption behaviors by immediately disseminating consumers’ post-purchase quality evaluations. This is a potentially crucial factor for the success of experiential media products and other products whose distribution strategy relies on a hyped release. Studying the four million MWOM messages sent via Twitter concerning 105 movies on their respective opening weekends, the authors find support for the Twitter effect and report evidence of a negativity bias. In a follow-up incident study of 600 Twitter users who decided not to see a movie based on negative MWOM, the authors shed additional light on the Twitter effect by investigating how consumers use MWOM information in their decision-making processes and describing MWOM’s defining characteristics. They use these insights to position MWOM in the word-of-mouth landscape, to identify future word-of-mouth research opportunities based on this conceptual positioning, and to develop managerial implications.