The proliferation of microblogs greatly facilitated interpersonal communication and information diffusion. Prior studies mainly examined effects of user and network characteristics on information diffusion. In this study, we examine how explicitly expressed emotions through emojis influence commenting and retweeting, two types of interactions enabled by microblogging platforms. While existent research largely focused on retweeting, we also take commenting into consideration. A distinction is made between commenting and retweeting, since commenting is more related to interpersonal communication, and retweeting is more related to information diffusion. Hypotheses are tested using data from a leading microblogging platform in China. The results show clear differences between emoji’s effects on commenting and retweeting. Overall speaking, messages with more emojis receive more comments but less retweets. Specifically, positive emojis increase the number of comments, but decrease the numbers of retweets. Similarly, negative emojis increase the number of comments, but decrease the numbers of retweets. Our findings suggest explicitly expressed emotions have different influences on interpersonal communication and information diffusion. Hence, the use of emojis in social media communication shall be catered in order to achieve desired effects.
Zhang, Zhixing and Zhang, Yixin (Sarah), "HOW DO EXPLICITLY EXPRESSED EMOTIONS INFLUENCE INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION DISSEMINATION? A FIELD STUDY OF EMOJI’S EFFECTS ON COMMENTING AND RETWEETING ON A MICROBLOG PLATFORM" (2016). PACIS 2016 Proceedings. 124.