In recent years, microblogging has emerged as a disruptive new force in social networking. Unlike the bi-directional relationships on traditional SNS sites (such as Facebook), connections on most microblogging platforms (such as Twitter) is one-directional, by which users choose others to “follow” and each user has her own group of “followers”. Such asymmetric relationships are particularly ubiquitous between celebrities and their fans. This study investigated the impacts of microblogging users’ various celebrity-following activities from a social capital perspective. The results of a large-scale survey provided supportive evidence to our theoretical research model, i.e., microblogging users’ one-directional celebrity-fol lowing activities could increase their perceived social capital and such influences are mediated by their parasocial interactions with the celebrities.
Ding, Yue; Qiu, Lingyun; and Li, Dong, "Celebrity-Following And Social Capital: A Study Of User Behavior In Microblogging" (2012). PACIS 2012 Proceedings. 157.