Discrete Emotion Synchronicity and Video Engagement on Social Media: A Moment-to-Moment Analysis

Dinghao Xi, Jilei Zhou, Wei Xu, and Liumin Tang
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 28, Number 1, 2023, pp. 108-144.


Although previous studies have identified several discrete emotion features that drive video diffusion on social media, little research has viewed the video consumption experience as a continuous communication process and combined viewer-side moment-to-moment (MTM) emotional reactions with supply-side MTM emotional dynamics. In this article, we examine how discrete emotion synchronicity, which refers to the synchronicity between MTM discrete emotions in the video content and MTM viewer emotional reactions, is associated with user engagement on video-based social media. Using a set of state-of-the-art deep learning algorithms and a regression model, we first extract discrete emotion synchronicity from videos with multimodal data streams. Then, we conduct an empirical analysis to determine the impact of discrete emotion synchronicity on user engagement. Our results indicate that discrete emotion synchronicity does not always lead to higher user engagement on video-based social media. First, discrete emotion synchronicity that increases the number of video tips (i.e., joy) cannot increase the number of saves and shares. Second, discrete emotion synchronicity (i.e., calm, solemnity, and sadness) has a negative effect on 3 types of engagement behaviors in some cases. Third, the negative effect of discrete emotion synchronicity outweighs its positive effect. Our work offers new insight into how discrete emotions facilitate or hinder user engagement in the context of video-based social media and has practical implications for firms’ marketing strategies on video-oriented social media.