Research Papers

Abstract

An increasing number of social media platforms have launched the paid question and answer (Q&A) service, but most of them failed. Recently, the profit-share scheme creates a new opportunity for paid Q&A to retain users. It allows askers to share the answer viewership revenue with answerers, which advantages to fulfill askers’ extrinsic needs, such as offsetting question cost and gaining a profit. This study explores how faskers can maximize their profits by framing a good question. Drawing upon social presence theory, we identify two content features-question informativeness and sentiment extremity- exemplifying the social presence of the question content. We test a polynomial regression model with 9,223 unique fee-charged questions from Weibo Q&A. The operationalization of our constructs are based on collected textual data (question content) and implemented with the LIWC text analysis tool. Results show that question informativeness has an inverted U-shaped relationship with askers’ financial gain, and sentiment extremity has a positive relationship. Our findings contribute to the previous literature by proposing a nuanced research model that demonstrates the impacts of question content features on askers’ financial gain from paid Q&A. Also, question askers, answerers, and the platform can acquire practical implications from our findings.

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