The Impact of Introductory Incentives on New Users: Evidence from an Online Health Community

Xiaofei Zhang, Bin Gu, Wei Chen, Xitong Guo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Many online communities now employ introductory incentives to attract new users and motivate user contributions, but the benefit of such incentives is still unclear. We draw on a policy change in a large online health community to explore the impact of short-term introductory incentives. We find that even though introductory incentives increase contribution quantity during the policy window, such incentives can significantly decrease it after the policy. The policy also harms the community by lowering contribution quality. However, introductory incentives can increase user retention and thus induce more contribution over the lifecycle of users. Moreover, the effects of such incentives are contingent on users’ offline seniority, which creates opportunities for the platform to target different user groups. This research contributes to the literature on identifying the impact of introductory incentives and intertemporal change of monetary incentives in online communities. The findings also provide novel insights for incentive-driven online communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationICIS 2017
Subtitle of host publicationTransforming Society with Digital Innovation
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
ISBN (Print)9780996683159
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event38th International Conference on Information Systems: Transforming Society with Digital Innovation, ICIS 2017 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: Dec 10 2017Dec 13 2017

Publication series

NameICIS 2017: Transforming Society with Digital Innovation

Other

Other38th International Conference on Information Systems: Transforming Society with Digital Innovation, ICIS 2017
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
CitySeoul
Period12/10/1712/13/17

Keywords

  • Introductory incentives
  • Online communities
  • Seniority contingency
  • User acquisition
  • User contribution
  • User retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Impact of Introductory Incentives on New Users: Evidence from an Online Health Community'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this