The effect of common social media story layouts on viewer credibility perceptions of news

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University of New Brunswick


Recently, news corporations have attempted to attract readers to their sites using social media “Stories”. Stories are short, animated clips or photos that allow people to engage with others. Previous work has established that a primary criterion for people clicking through to see more content on the Web is the perceived credibility of the information. While the Story’s format might be eye-catching, it is unknown which visual aspects of their designs lead to Stories being perceived as credible. This research identifies common news Story design layouts, and through three online studies compare which aspects of their visual design impact credibility judgments. Survey results show that more intricate design layouts for news-related Stories should be used whereas static designs with little information should likely be avoided to increase credibility perceptions. This work contributes valuable new information about how the visual display of online information affects reader credibility perceptions.