Hidden power: Impact of the “snippet” on online consumer engagement

Wael Jabr, Ritu Lohtia, Yi Zhao, Monica D. Guillory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the increasing influence of online reviews, platforms hosting those reviews have played a central role shaping the review display rendering a snippet of text readily visible, with the remainder hidden, accessible upon request. Using data from 122,438 written reviews from 62,380 reviewers for 1,874 nonchain Atlanta restaurants on TripAdvisor, our research is the first to examine the impact of this display feature on ensuring consumer engagement through casting helpful votes. Based on consumer behavior theories, topic modeling, and sentiment analysis, we demonstrate that hidden content is more effective in garnering helpful votes than visible content. We also find that in hidden content, negativity bias diminishes and the effectiveness of information about features is enhanced. We identify how perceived purchase risk accentuates snippet effectiveness. Our findings provide guidance to platforms and reviewers on prioritizing content and opens avenues on an important aspect of online review display and related user behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101196
JournalElectronic Commerce Research and Applications
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Marketing
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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