Communications of the Association for Information Systems


To explain the viral diffusion process, most of previous studies focus on the structure of social networks and the existence of the hub. We extend the scope of analysis from a single node to a tie between the sender and the receiver to explain the impact of tie characteristics on the viral diffusion measured by its speed (i.e., how quickly) and by its volume (i.e., how much viral). Based on our analysis results using a viral marketing data of 30,035 sender-receiver ties, we find that (1) the more heterogeneous the tie is, the quicker the response occurs; and (2) heavy viral generators tend to be connected to each other. Taken together, this research broadens the study of online viral diffusion by applying tie characteristics in terms of the volume and speed of the viral.