Exploring Emotional Dynamics in Social Media Interactions for News Content


Emotional reactions to a Facebook post and comments [1].
Understanding people’s emotional reactions is crucial in a digital age where news spreads fast across social media.

Researchers [1] ​ conducted a thorough study analyzing over 130,000 social media posts and 2.8 million comments to see how news affects people emotionally. Using Plutchik’s wheel of emotions, they sorted emotions into nine types. The researchers used advanced tools like EmoLex and LIWC to examine how audiences engage with news from big media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. This insightful research helps us see just how much news can influence emotions online.

Key Findings:

  • Emotional Influence: News outlets significantly influence audiences’ emotional reactions, particularly in eliciting positive emotions. This finding highlights the strategic role media can play in shaping public sentiment.
  • Predictive Analysis: Utilizing logistic regression and LSTM models, the study demonstrates the ability to predict emotional responses from audiences before news content is published. This predictive capacity indicates a substantial advance in understanding and potentially managing audience engagement strategies.
  • Platform Differences: The research identifies notable differences in how emotions are expressed across different platforms, suggesting tailored approaches for media outlets when engaging with diverse platform audiences.

Implications and Applications:

The implications of this research are profound for media practitioners, suggesting that a deeper understanding of emotional engagement can enhance content strategies and audience interactions. For social media strategists and content creators, these insights guide optimizing emotional impact to boost user engagement and interaction.

Read the research article! 

[1] ​​Aldous, K, An, J, and Jansen, B. J. (2022) Measuring 9 emotions of news posts from 8 news organizations across 4 social media platforms for 8 months. ACM Transactions on Social Computing.  4(4), Article 15.