Exploring Prototypicality Adherence Effects on User Engagement in User-Generated Video Platforms

Lu Liu, Xiying Sun, Jiaming Fang, and Md. Altab Hossin
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 25, Number 3, 2024, pp. 381-415.


Online video platforms are actively introducing automatic tagging systems to enhance the searchability and accessibility of videos, and these systems also contribute to the prototypicality of the videos. Nonetheless, the influence of adhering to prototypicality in user-generated videos (UGVs) on user engagement has remained an area with limited exploration. Leveraging an extensive dataset from UGV platforms that includes 15,986 videos by 6,824 creators across 17 distinct categories, this study applies information foraging theory to show that video prototypicality significantly enhances emotional engagement but has an inverse effect on cognitive engagement. The dynamics of these effects are shaped by the competitive landscape of the video market. Specifically, horizontal market competition amplifies these effects, while vertical market competition attenuates them. Moreover, our exploration of heterogeneity effects reveals that the influence of adhering to video prototypicality on emotional engagement wanes within extensive creator networks. Furthermore, the impacts of adhering to video prototypicality on emotional and cognitive engagement demonstrate distinct patterns, contingent on the existence of a creator market monopoly. The results of this study can assist UGV platforms in refining the design of their automated video tagging systems, contributing to a more dynamic and vibrant UGV platform.