Sharing Feelings and User Engagement on Twitter: It’s All About Me and You

Elad Segev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explores how the expression of feelings and the use of personal pronouns on Twitter are associated with user engagement. Unlike most previous studies which focused on the types of emotions that generate user engagement, it uses the volume-control model, which also considers the social dimension of power. Looking at the usage of pronouns, it examines the balance achieved between popular messages that target larger groups and personalized messages that target smaller groups and individuals. The findings show that there is a significant difference between the motivation to share (retweet) and to reply to a message. Users on Twitter tend to retweet messages with popular characteristics, addressing larger groups with positive feelings. On the other hand, replies were associated with more personalized messages and a greater use of negative feelings. Users with more followers and friends presented a balance between popularization and personalization techniques, as their tweets were associated with higher customization of the messages to specific groups yet avoided negative feelings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Media and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2023


  • Twitter
  • feelings
  • personal pronouns
  • personalization
  • popularization
  • semantic network analysis
  • volume-control model


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