As the success of social media platforms heavily depends on the amount and the nature of user-generated content, content monetization has been introduced as a mechanism to incentivize users to generate content. In particular, content contributors can be paid (i.e. tipped) by readers who like the story. We adopted difference-in-differences approach with robustness matching estimator to examine the impact of content monetization. Our results confirm that the content monetization effectively motivate content demand and supply and also improves content quality. Furthermore, such economic incentives have a spillover effect on ordinary weibo users before they are eligible to adopt “tipping” function. However, the verified users who have already been the experts or celebrities in teh society may be depressed after open application of the program. This result suggests that start-ups are able to survive and earn profit even in markets that are dominated by famous celebrities because of the monetization mechanism.
Geng, Ruibin and Chen, Xi, "Economics of ‘Tipping’ Button in Social Media: An Empirical Analysis of Content Monetization" (2018). PACIS 2018 Proceedings. 57.