Mechanism Design for Incentivizing Social Media Contributions

  • Vivek K. Singh
  • Ramesh Jain
  • Mohan Kankanhalli


Despite recent advancements in user-driven social media platforms, tools for studying user behavior patterns and motivations remain primitive. We highlight the voluntary nature of user contributions and that users can choose when (and when not) to contribute to the common media pool. A Game theoretic framework is proposed to study the dynamics of social media networks where contribution costs are individual but gains are common. We model users as rational selfish agents, and consider domain attributes like voluntary participation, virtual reward structure, network effect, and public-sharing to model the dynamics of this interaction. The created model describes the most appropriate contribution strategy from each user’s perspective and also highlights issues like ‘free-rider’ problem and individual rationality leading to irrational (i.e. sub-optimal) group behavior. We also consider the perspective of the system designer who is interested in finding the best incentive mechanisms to influence the selfish end-users so that the overall system utility is maximized. We propose and compare multiple mechanisms (based on optimal bonus payment, social incentive leveraging, and second price auction) to study how a system designer can exploit the selfishness of its users, to design incentive mechanisms which improve the overall task-completion probability and system performance, while possibly still benefiting the individual users.


Nash Equilibrium Task Completion System Utility Price Auction Base Case Scenario 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivek K. Singh
    • 1
  • Ramesh Jain
    • 1
  • Mohan Kankanhalli
    • 2
  1. 1.University of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  2. 2.National University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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