Is YouTube a Search Engine or a Social Network? Analyzing Evaluative Inconsistencies

Article Information
Journal: Business and Economics Research Journal
Title of Article: Is YouTube a Search Engine or a Social Network? Analyzing Evaluative Inconsistencies
Author(s): Adnan Veysel Ertemel, Ahmed Ammoura
Volume: 12
Number: 4
Year: 2021
Page: 871-881
ISSN: 2619-9491
DOI Number: 10.20409/berj.2021.357
As broadband internet speed increases worldwide, video consumption habits gain momentum. YouTube is by far the most dominant video platform on the Internet. Apart from its social networking site characteristics, YouTube is also known as the second most visited search engine in the world. This paper studies YouTube from marketing perspective. By looking from the categorization theory, evaluative inconsistencies associated with the YouTube platform are investigated. YouTube platform is unique in that it has hybrid product characteristics encompassing both search engine and social networking site features. In the light of the previous literature on category knowledge, devaluation effect, integrated evaluation and bivariate evaluation space (BES) theories, the structural equation modeling (SEM) technique was used to examine the evaluative inconsistencies between the two categories of YouTube. Findings showed a positive correlation between the two categories, so basically users tend to eliminate the inconsistencies by formulating a general attitude towards both categories. This article makes important contributions to the existing literature by testing such a hybrid model in categorization research. Moreover, the paper has significant managerial implications for the marketers who want to understand the underlying characteristics of different users using a dominant platform like YouTube.

Keywords: Categorization Theory, Evaluative Inconsistencies, YouTube, Search Engine, Social Media

JEL Classification: L86, D91 Full Text