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Easy messaging leads to less content creation on social networks

Researchers at University of California Berkeley's Haas School of Business have found that ease of communicating with several people through social networks does not cause more and more users to share their thoughts and views.

The researchers said that the tweets and posts on cyber space have created an imbalance in the number of people who create content and number of people who receive content.

Associate Professor Zsolt Katona and Ganesh Iyer, Edgar F Kaiser Chair in Business Administration at Berkeley-Haas conducted the study.

The study points out that the easier it becomes to connect with large number of people through social media, the fewer content creators chose to participate and more disorderly the networks become.

More people would create content if it was difficult to post messages to large number of people.

Kotana said that according to industry reports, around 10 per cent of Twitter users broadcast 90 per cent tweets of the network and only around 55 million users who blog post every day.

According to the research, social networking is like a market where content creators invest efforts to win customers (receivers) who view their comments. However, content creators are not looking for economic reward.

The senders want satisfaction of being heard. The efforts required to reach them is also based on the social distance between senders and receivers. In case the sender targets only few receivers and the social network is small, there isn't much competition for attention. The receivers are not receiving many messages.

Also, senders only make a minimal effort to be heard since they are not getting a large payoff.

Things change once the senders try to increase their payoff by targeting people who are more socially distant.

Receivers who were receiving messages from few senders are now being targeted by several senders. This leads to increase in competition for attention. According to the researchers, more distant the receiver is, the harder it will be for the sender to compose relevant messages.

As this competition increases some senders decide it isn't worth it. They drop out. Also, others decide they do not want to enter the market. According to researchers, this explains why proportion of sender to receivers is less.