An exploratory study of social media users' engagement with COVID-19 vaccine-related content

F1000Res. 2021 Mar 24;10:236. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.51210.3. eCollection 2021.

Abstract

Background: Facebook, as the world's most popular social media platform, has been playing various important roles throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing users to produce and share health-related information that both eases and complicates public health communication. However, the characteristics of vaccine-related Facebook content and users' reaction to the vaccine issue has been an unexplored area to date. Methods: To fill the previous knowledge-gap, this exploratory study wants to understand the communication climate of Facebook on the COVID-19 vaccine issue, including the nature of dominant content and users' engagement patterns with them. Therefore, the study analyzes the 10,000 most popular Facebook posts with the highest interactions on the vaccine issue. Results: The results show that Facebook users prioritize more vaccine-related news links (71.22%) over other content. The declining interactions on the issue suggests that interaction growth mainly depends on positive news on the vaccine. Finally, users' reaction to the vaccine issue is dominantly positive, though they may show a highly negative attitude toward vaccine misinformation. Conclusions: A few limitations and strengths of this study are discussed along with values and implications. This study for the first time analyzes Bangla language-based Facebook content related to the COVID-19 vaccine issue, which is largely overlooked in global academic research.

Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine; Facebook; social media content; user engagement; medicine..

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Social Media*

Substances

  • COVID-19 Vaccines