Publication Date

December 2019


This paper compares the prevalence and nature of sponsored messages on Facebook and Twitter. Results of a content analysis of 180 sponsored messages from 65 screenshots provided by undergraduate student subjects showed significant differences in the product categories advertised on each platform, with sponsored messages for apparel and entertainment more prevalent on Facebook and financial products and services more prevalent on Twitter. The majority of the sponsoring advertisers on both platforms were from companies established after the year 2000; only seven percent were leading US advertisers; and only three advertisers—Amazon, Microsoft, and Toyota—appeared in both samples.


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