Health Communication: An Investigation on Emoji, Perceived Visual Informativeness and Social Media Engagement

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Tingyi S. LinYue Luo

Abstract: Compared with traditional channels of information dissemination, social media allow users to explore, to reveal and to share all kinds of information via web, reinforcing word spreading effect with such online interactivities. Convincing health information often contains clear data, distinct hierarchies and strong visual appeal. This study investigated how the application of emoji and design complexity affects social media engagement and the level of perceived visual informativeness of health information. We conducted an online experiment with a 2 (emoji: with versus without) X 2 (information design complexity: high versus low) between-subjects research. A total of 277 subjects participated in this study. Results show that, firstly, health information with emoji leads to higher social media engagement and perceived visual informativeness. Secondly, high complexity information was more convincing in terms of increasing perceived visual informativeness. Thirdly, a significant interaction effect was found on perceived visual informativeness between emoji and the design complexity of health information. In addition, visual symbols, such as emoji, are more meaningful in health information with higher design complexity than those without visual intervention or low complexity. The evidence from this study provides strategies for making visual information in health more persuasive and engaging.

Keywords: Emoji, Health Communication, Information Complexity, Perceived Visual Informativeness (PVI), Social Media Engagement (SME)

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003592

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