New Product Information Diffusion in Firm–Hosted Online Communities Based on User Influence

  • Jing Zhang Tianjin University
  • Wei Guo Tianjin University
  • Nan Zhao Tianjin University of Technology and Education
  • Jinliang Wang Tianjin University
  • Lei Wang Tianjin University
Keywords: New product, User influence, Information diffusion, firm–hosted online community, social networks


The diffusion of new product information in firm–hosted online communities depends on the information interaction between users. Especially in the early stage of new product online sales, user influence based on interactive behavior is the critical factor that affects the wide and sustainable diffusion of new product information, makes users respond to firm’s announcement of new product releases in time, and improves the new product competitiveness. Since very little work has been done on the effect of user influence on the new product information diffusion, this paper proposes a model based on user influence for the diffusion of new product information in firm–hosted online communities to fill this gap. Moreover, focusing on the hot topics of new product innovation functions, we present a new method to measure user influence from the perspective of user interaction, which provides a quantitative theoretical basis for the diffusion probability of influencing user state change in new product information diffusion. Finally, our model tests a well–known firm–hosted online community in China. The results reveal that the model can effectively describe the dynamic evolution of information diffusion, explain the key dynamic factors, and accurately predict the peak time of information diffusion.