Microblogging word of mouth (MWOM) through Twitter and similar services
constitutes a new type of word-of-mouth communication that combines the
real-time and personal influence of traditional (offline) word of mouth with
electronic word of mouth's ability to reach large audiences. MWOM has the
potential to increase the speed of dissemination of post-purchase quality
evaluations from consumers and thus has been argued to affect early product
For industries that exploit information asymmetries between producers and
consumers when releasing new products-such as the motion picture industry,
which is known to routinely hype up new releases with big marketing
budgets-this 'Twitter effect' would threaten existing business models by
enabling consumers to make better informed adoption decisions.
This study develops a conceptual model of the impact of MWOM on early product
adoption, including possible moderating forces, and tests it in the context of
the motion picture industry. The authors study 105 movies that were widely
released in North American theaters between October 2009 and October 2010, and
all 4 million MWOM messages about these movies sent via Twitter on their
respective opening weekend, to look for evidence of the 'Twitter effect.'
Want to know if the (in)famous 'Twitter effect' really exists? Download the
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