The Impacts of Informant and Friend Relationships on Online Opinion Sharing

Yue Feng, Chong Alex Wang, Xiaoquan Michael Zhang

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Online product-related opinion sharing is prevalent and effective in shaping consumers' purchasing decisions. With the proliferation of social networks embedded in online rating platforms, users participate in opinion sharing activities in a socially enriched manner. This study unpacks social influences in online rating behaviors. We differentiate between the influences from two types of online social relationships: informant relationship and friend relationship. Each relationship triggers different social mechanisms and results in different impacts on rating decisions. Based on a twostage model, we investigate the social relationship-specific influences in rating posting and evaluation stage. The model is empirically estimated using data from a popular Chinese social-networking website. Our findings suggest the social influences from informant and friend relationship are distinctive and interdependent. Online friends' ratings exert conformity pressure while informants' ratings crowd out new ratings. This study extends our understanding about the social dynamics in online opinion sharing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) 2013 Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2013 - Milan, Italy
Duration: 15 Dec 201318 Dec 2013


ConferenceInternational Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2013


  • Bayesian estimation
  • Friend relationship
  • Informant relationship
  • Online opinion sharing
  • Online social networks


Dive into the research topics of 'The Impacts of Informant and Friend Relationships on Online Opinion Sharing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this