Sharing the Fun? How Social Information Affects Viewers’ Video Enjoyment and Video Evaluations

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How Social Information Affects Viewers’ Video Enjoyment and Video Evaluations

Online video platforms often present videos together with social information in the form of user comments and likes. This study tested two hypotheses about how this merger of mass and interpersonal communication on online video platforms shapes viewers’ evaluations and enjoyment of online videos. Whereas the judgement effect hypothesis states that social information alters viewers’ video evaluations, the processing effect hypothesis poses that it influences viewers’ enjoyment while they are watching videos. Using real-time response measures, this experiment pitted both hypotheses against each other. The results indicate that if viewers are exposed to social information before watching a video, a processing effect emerges on their enjoyment as they are watching. If viewers are exposed to social information after watching a video, a judgement effect on their retrospective video enjoyment occurs but not on their video evaluations. These new insights advance our understanding of how social information affects video viewers.

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