Like at first sight: Understanding user engagement with the world of microvideos

Sagar Joglekar*, Nishanth Sastry, Miriam Redi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contributionpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Several content-driven platforms have adopted the ‘micro video’ format, a new form of short video that is constrained in duration, typically at most 5–10 s long. Micro videos are typically viewed through mobile apps, and are presented to viewers as a long list of videos that can be scrolled through. How should micro video creators capture viewers’ attention in the short attention span? Does quality of content matter? Or do social effects predominate, giving content from users with large numbers of followers a greater chance of becoming popular? To the extent that quality matters, what aspect of the video – aesthetics or affect – is critical to ensuring user engagement? We examine these questions using a snapshot of nearly all >120,000) videos uploaded to globally accessible channels on the micro video platform Vine over an 8 week period. We find that although social factors do affect engagement, content quality becomes equally important at the top end of the engagement scale. Furthermore, using the temporal aspects of video, we verify that decisions are made quickly, and that first impressions matter more, with the first seconds of the video typically being of higher quality and having a large effect on overall user engagement. We verify these data-driven insights with a user study from 115 respondents, confirming that users tend to engage with micro videos based on “first sight”, and that users see this format as a more immediate and less professional medium than traditional user-generated video (e.g., YouTube) or user-generated images (e.g., Flickr).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Informatics - 9th International Conference, SocInfo 2017, Proceedings
EditorsGiovanni Luca Ciampaglia, Afra Mashhadi, Taha Yasseri
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages20
Volume10539 LNCS
ISBN (Electronic)9783319672175
ISBN (Print)9783319672168
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event9th International Conference on Social Informatics, SocInfo 2017 - Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Sept 201715 Sept 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10539 LNCS
ISSN (Print)03029743
ISSN (Electronic)16113349


Conference9th International Conference on Social Informatics, SocInfo 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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