Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

The Impact of Content Sentiment and Emotionality on Content Virality

Heimbach, Irina
Volume: 33
Number: 3
Pages: 695 - 701
Month: September
ISSN-Print: 0167-8116
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2016
Keywords: Content virality; Online social networks; Social media; Word of mouth; Information diffusion; Viral marketing

Analyzing t\he most e-mailed New York Times (NYT) articles, Berger and Milkman (2012) (BM) found that content virality is positively associated with its positivity and emotionality (particularly with the emotions anger, awe, and anxiety) and negatively related to sadness. Using a sample of German articles, we replicated their study for the most e-mailed article list of Germany's leading news magazine and extended the analysis to (1) three additional communication channels and (2) the non-linear relationship between positivity and virality. Although we could not replicate all the effects uncovered by BM, our findings are consistent with their results across all communication channels. Further, we suggest that the relationship between positivity and virality follows an inverted U-shape pattern and is thus non-linear.