How-to Present News on Social Media: A Causal Analysis of Editing News Headlines for Boosting User Engagement


  • Kunwoo Park School of AI Convergence, Soongsil University, South Korea
  • Haewoon Kwak Singapore Management University, Singapore
  • Jisun An Singapore Management University, Singapore
  • Sanjay Chawla Qatar Computing Research Institute, Qatar



Analysis of the relationship between social media and mainstream media, Engagement, motivations, incentives, and gamification., Text categorization; topic recognition; demographic/gender/age identification, Credibility of online content


To reach a broader audience and optimize traffic toward news articles, media outlets commonly run social media accounts and share their content with a short text summary. Despite its importance of writing a compelling message in sharing articles, the research community does not own a sufficient understanding of what kinds of editing strategies effectively promote audience engagement. In this study, we aim to fill the gap by analyzing media outlets' current practices using a data-driven approach. We first build a parallel corpus of original news articles and their corresponding tweets that eight media outlets shared. Then, we explore how those media edited tweets against original headlines and the effects of such changes. To estimate the effects of editing news headlines for social media sharing in audience engagement, we present a systematic analysis that incorporates a causal inference technique with deep learning; using propensity score matching, it allows for estimating potential (dis-)advantages of an editing style compared to counterfactual cases where a similar news article is shared with a different style. According to the analyses of various editing styles, we report common and differing effects of the styles across the outlets. To understand the effects of various editing styles, media outlets could apply our easy-to-use tool by themselves.




How to Cite

Park, K., Kwak, H., An, J., & Chawla, S. (2021). How-to Present News on Social Media: A Causal Analysis of Editing News Headlines for Boosting User Engagement. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 15(1), 491-502.