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Two formulas for success in social media: social learning and network effects

This paper examines social learning and network effects that are particularly important for online videos, considering the limited marketing campaigns of user-generated content. Rather than combining both social learning and network effects under the umbrella of social contagion or peer influence, we develop a theoretical model and empirically identify social learning and network effects separately. Using a unique data set from YouTube, we find that both mechanisms have statistically and economically significant effects on video views, and which mechanism dominates depends on the specific video type.

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