Is that a bot running the social media feed? Testing the differences in perceptions of communication quality for a human agent and a bot agent on Twitter

Edwards, Chad; Edwards, Autumn; Spence, Patric R.; Shelton, Ashleigh K.
Computers in Human Behavior

Due to the growth and popularity of Twitter, automated programs that can tweet are increasingly developed and employed. In line with the Computers Are Social Actors (CASA) paradigm (Reeves & Nass, 1996), findings suggest that Twitterbots are perceived as credible, attractive, competent in communication, and interactional. Additionally, there were no differences in the perceptions of source credibility, communication competence, or interactional intentions between the bot and human Twitter agents. However, the source of the human Twitter agent was rated higher in attraction (social and task) than was the Twitterbot. Results are discussed in light of CASA. Implications for organizations that might employ Twitterbots are also addressed.