Assessment 3 · Uncategorized

Social media communication

Changhui Zhang (Serena)


Kai Tutorial Wednesday 5-8 pm


User create content


With the development of Web 2.0 and the growing up of social media platform, the way that we can only obtain the information unidirectional from the traditional media has changed. Web 2.0 provides lots of different platforms of different functions, the Internet users can freely write, post the video or image or any other possibilities. Instead of just simply respond to the report has created by the organization or media, the Internet users became the original producer of the content.(Hinton, Hjorth, 2013). So the users are participating in the information generate and sharing, which called user create content. It has raised many changes in the dissemination of information, the advertisement and the crisis. And also have a positive influence on the public power.



There are two concept likes really similar, which is the user create content and the user generate content. User-generated content is a growing media trend where consumers develop content and share it with others online (Niederhoffer, Mooth, Wiesenfeld, & Gordon, 2007).  User-generated content is created by consumers rather than paid professionals (Daugherty, Eastin, & Bright,2008), involves a variety of online channels, and can be branded or unbranded. And user create content is identified as the user generate content.While according to  Hinton and Hjorth, specifically, user generated content more focus on people makes comment and reposts others posts, while the user create content is totally the content create by the user himself. And creating content not only just about the creativity but also the time, emotion, memory and various forms of social, culture and economic(Hinton and Hjorth, 2013).

User create content has been widely used in different purposes. There are some examples for discussion.


Application in communication

This function may be the most familiar one as we are using it everyday. The Facebook, Tweeter and the Wechat are the basic apps. We write our mood and the things we want to share and put the pictures on the platforms, which is the primary content creator.

For the further use will be the community create by the people who are sharing the same interest. Like the Zhihu in China, people can post their questions and other people who know the answer will answer it. Also, people will share their opinions and discuss the hot topic together, which is full of user create content.



And for more causal one people has have many apps about the cosmetic community. And the app called Big Eyes is an app just developed in this year, people usually talks about some minority people known brands but truly effective ones. And you must have a test for your fashion taste before you become the member of the community. After you entered the community, you can ask questions for advice such as “what present do you recommend for a wedding?” And then people will give their answers on the below, other people can also choose their favorite answers by like the answer. This app can be called as a user create content app, as most content shared on the platform is user’s own experience. Furthermore, there are increasing number of the apps are taking advantages of the same strategy.



Application in promotion

Online celebrity:

As the web 2.0 developed, people have opportunities to show their lives and personality on the different social media platform. This trend has generated a new kind of people called online celebrity. Because of online celebrities always have lots of followers and are influential among the platforms, more corporates finding it is a more commercial and effective way to use the online celebrities for their product promotion. So the corporates pay the online celebrities for writing the posts or taking photos for their products just like normally sharing their experience. And because of their influence their followers would like to buy the products. According to Peter, consumer trust user creates content more than all other forms.

A fashion blogger named Chiara ferragni who has been called the “global blogger” as she has 9.04 million followers. And the cloth once she has dressed would be sold out. As Lindblad’s study of Fashion blogs and advertisement indicates that the bloggers have lots of power, which can change the readers’ mind and even persuade them to buy it.


(global blogger)

Application in crisis

United airlines

The user create content also plays a significant role in the crisis. Compared with the period of Web 1.0, public now can easily make comments and upload the videos of the situation they have taken by phones. Recently, there is a widespread issue about the united airlines that because of the united airlines overbooking problem, one passenger has been violently dragged out of the plane and got strongly hurt. While at first, other passenger who also in the same plane twittered the united airlines about the issue. And at that time united airlines other staffs even did not know what has happened. And also firstly, the CEO of the united airlines did not sincerely apologize to the public and even mention the victims. And the public made millions of comments on their twitter accounts and against the united airlines. As the information diffused quickly, more public knew the issue and the situation has became uncontrollable. The united airlines had to apologize again to the victim and public again to calm down the chaos. So maybe with the UCC on the social media platforms, it has made trouble for the corporate which has a crisis. But it truly helped the victim to defend their rights.


(United Airlines Twitter)


It is easy for people to search information on Internet nowadays, but with information explosive and there is a lot of similar information, it is difficult for people to find what he or she exactly wants. UCC provides a perfect answer to this problem. Users online can precisely answer questions raised by other users, and much more people can get exactly what he wants. Zhihu is a perfect example for this.

While also content provided by users are not censored or has not been authorized, there are lots of fake news or rumors in those UCC content. The public who do not know the truth will easily be cheated. So although the user creates content has many beneficial effects, it still need to be wisely used and need to be censorship.

And another effect is about public power. In the past, without Web 2.0, the information can not spread so fast and the user create content cannot easily be available, there are so many issues are out of public view. Just like the united airlines. If there is not so many users create content against the united airlines making the issue become well known, the victim may not get a good responses from the united airlines. The user creates content makes the issue and the situation becoming more transparent and the public has more power than before. And with the UCC, more public can easily make their own voice, which can reduce the unfair situation and help them settle the issues.


Reference list

Dennhardt, S. (2014). User-Generated Content and its Impact on Branding (1st ed.). Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, Imprint: Springer Gabler.

Hinton, S., &Hjorth, L. (2013). Understanding social media (1st ed.). Los Angeles, CA [etc.]: SAGE.

Kumi, R. (2013). Attitudes and behaviors in online communities (1st ed.).

Li, G. Effects of social capital and community support on online community members’ intention to create user-generated content (1st ed.). California State University.

Wetsch, L., & Pike, K. (2010). Marketing in a Web 2.0 world with a Web 1.0 mentality: the challenge of social web marketing in academic institutions. International Journal Of Electronic Marketing And Retailing, 3(4), 398.


2 thoughts on “Social media communication

  1. Examples gave in the article are of representation. The fashion app “Big eyes” is a new media platform, which provides a new area for customers to ask question, get advice and discuss topics together. Users give questions here and the question will be answered by different users as well. If someone asks “Is this kind of coffee powder good?”, users in this platform will make comments or give advice according to their own experience or their friends’ experience, which can help make decisions. This is a kind of online review.
    In a Facebook group, people talk about the similar topics while this “BigEyes” is like a big online discussion community. It divided the community with different topics,the whole things in the app are based on UCC.
    From the effects in the article, the power of user created content in social media is to make some issue more transparent, which is important and necessary for the public justification.


  2. What your said about Zhihu is really attractive to me. I am a huge fan of Zhihu. In fact, for quite a long time, I was obsessed with it. Every time I wanted to buy some thing or had question about something, Zhihu is the first place I would search. Otherwise, I would search in Wikipedia. Basically, I believed that would be the problem of user created content and user generated content. Nowadays, people rely too much on both of them. When they want to read news, they will check Facebook. When they want to buy something, they will check Amazon reviews. For one thing, this is a inevitable consequence of the virtual network lacking in trust. Users will always seeking for content that is more reliable. Then those who created by someone they could know will be welcomed. For another, spreading something online is so easy and costs so low. In another word, both democracy and violence will be achieved thanks to user created and generated content. Therefore, I would say you could talk about more on the other side of them and how to supervise and lead them to be more benefits to the virtual world and the real world.


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