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date: 27 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Social media and blogging services have become extremely popular. Every day hundreds of millions of users share random thoughts, gossip, news, and thoughts on notable social issues. Users interact by following each other’s updates and passing along interesting pieces of information to their friends. Information therefore can diffuse widely and quickly through social links. Information propagation in networks such as Twitter and Facebook is unique, in that traditional media sources and word-of-mouth propagation coexist. The availability of digitally logged propagation events in social media helps one better understand how a wide range of factors that are essential in communication, such as user influence, tie strength, repeated exposures, mass media, and agenda setting, come into play in the way people generate and consume information in modern society. This chapter reviews the roles different types of users of social media play in information propagation as well as the resulting propagation patterns. It also discusses specific examples, including the spread of social conventions and identifying topic experts in social media, in an effort to bring about better understanding of the characteristics of propagation phenomena in large social networks.

Keywords: information propagation, word of mouth, social conventions, user influence, trendsetters, cascade, topic experts, information diet

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