Analysis of online social networks: a cross‐national study

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  • Analysis of online social networks:a cross-national study

    Dong-Hee ShinSungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea

    Abstract

    Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate users underlying motivations for engaging insocial networking through online social networking services (SNS) compared with their behaviour. Itseeks to examine the differences between USA, and Korean users.

    Design/methodology/approach The study surveyed SNS users in the USA and Korea todetermine the key differences between the two countries. Survey questions, developed in English andKorean, were presented in each country to explore the influences of various factors from the modifiedTechnology Acceptance Model on SNS user dimensions. The analytic design methods were based onstructural equation modelling and applied to the data gathered. The TAM factors of SNS wereanalysed, focusing on the differences in motives between the two countries.

    Findings The results of the online survey of SNS users validated the proposed theoretical modelsability to explain and predict user acceptance of SNS very well. While the results illustrate theimportance of both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, the two countries showed different sets ofmotivations, providing useful implications for theory and practice.

    Practical implications Based on the results of the study, practical applications for marketingstrategies in online SNS markets and theoretical applications for cross-national studies arerecommended.

    Originality/value Despite the burgeoning interest in SNS, only a few studies have explored theacceptance of SNS in a cross-national manner, leading to a paucity of information on how differentcultures influence acceptance of online services.

    Keywords United States of America, Social networks, Korea, User studies, Cross-cultural studies,Behaviour

    Paper type Research paper

    IntroductionA social network service (SNS) focuses on building online communities of people whoshare interests and/or activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests andactivities of others. SNSs, as advanced Web 2.0 applications, have become a majorinterest for the Information Systems research community. Social networking hascreated new ways to communicate and share information. Most SNSs are online basedand provide a variety of ways for users to interact, such as email and instantmessaging services. SNSs are being used regularly by millions of people, and it nowseems that social networking will be an enduring part of everyday life (Dwyer, 2007).The main types of SNS are those that contain directories of some categories, tools toconnect with friends, and recommender systems linked to trust. Popular methods now

    The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at

    www.emeraldinsight.com/1468-4527.htm

    This work was supported by Grant No. R31-10062 from the World Class University project of theKorean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Korean National ResearchFoundation through Sungkyunkwan University.

    This paper was supported by the Faculty Research Fund, Sungkyunkwan University, 2009,for which the author is very grateful.

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    Refereed article received22 August 2009

    Approved for publication24 January 2010

    Online Information ReviewVol. 34 No. 3, 2010

    pp. 473-495q Emerald Group Publishing Limited

    1468-4527DOI 10.1108/14684521011054080

  • combine many of these, with MySpace and Facebook being the most widely used inNorth America. The social networking phenomenon has been also popular in Asia; forexample Cyworld in Korea has become an online craze for teens and for many adults.

    Even though the literature on the adoption and the use of Web 2.0 is quite extensive,few studies have explored the motivations for using the recent SNSs in a cross-culturalmanner, such as MySpace and Cyworld, and the associated antecedents andconsequences from a comparative perspective (Hargittai, 2007). The well-establishedTechnology Acceptance Model (TAM) framework can be applied to emergingsocial-networking technologies, to improve our understanding of the TAM of thesenew services. The TAM theory suggests that users behavioural intention to use atechnology is affected by its perceived usefulness and the perceived ease of use of thetechnology. The key research question of the present study is to investigate usermotivations to use SNSs in a two-country context, in order to investigate differencesthat may exist for the TAM of Web 2.0 services. Although there might be no universalmeasurement of user activities, motivations, and behaviours that is applicable todifferent countries, this information is fundamental to understanding why certainSNSs are adopted in some countries and not in others.

    This question is very relevant to the recent failure of Cyworld in the US market.Cyworld is a Korean SNS that has been very successful in the Korean market. WhenCyworld launched in the US in 2006, it was considered to strong competition forMySpace. After less than one year of operation, however, Cyworld shut down its USventure, raising questions about why this failure had occurred. In the same veinMySpace has 22 versions tailed for specific countries, as well as its US and UKversions, and also offers additional versions for French Canadians, and threelanguages for Switzerland, but MySpace has struggled in these international markets.These two cases of failure illustrate the importance of understanding user contexts,such as cultural and social factors, prior to launching IT service products ininter-cultural markets.

    In this context Shin (2008) urged researchers to conduct cross-national studies todetermine if TAM is universal or if these types of models serve different functions indifferent societies. From a cultural perspective Teo et al. (2008), Goldsmith (2002) andPhau and Poon (2000) have called for thorough empirical studies to better understandcross-cultural user behaviour. This cross-national investigation is particularlyimportant for the online information literature because the information istransmitted through SNSs to global users. The innovative and global nature of Web2.0 services has fostered many visions of comparative understanding among countries,although the research in this area is still at a very early exploratory stage. As onlineservices become increasingly global, it is important for international marketers tounderstand those factors that influence consumer use of international SNS sites.Understanding what motivates global consumers to use SNSs can help internationalmarketers to design more effective international SNS sites that target foreigncustomers. In addition understanding cross-national perspectives also can produceinsights about online information that is used and produced on SNSs, and adds valueto them. Only a few studies in the literature have attempted to explore the online usageand activities of global users (Heijden, 2003; Pavlou and Chai, 2002). A secondunder-explored area involves the factors affecting the intentions of global SNS users. Across-national comparison would be useful in providing practical applications for the

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  • industry to use in developing global markets. The aim is to extend the use of TAM tostudy user acceptance of international SNS sites and also to see how the differentcontext affects the SNS users attitudes towards these sites and intention to use them.

    The relational model of the antecedents and consequences of attitude toward mobileservices is tested by a structural equation modelling (SEM) analysis. The SEMapproach allows this study to vigorously test the convergent, discriminant, andnomological validity of TAM constructs, or the extent to which the models predictionsare verified. When exploring the relationship between social networking and TAM, thefollowing research questions are addressed:

    RQ1. What are the TAM factors of SNSs between users in two countries?

    RQ2. What cross-national differences exist for the motivations to use SNSs? Is thereany difference in the structural relations of factors between the two countries?

    These two questions lead to identification and comparison of the TAM patterns of thetwo countries users. Shin (2007) argues that greater online experience and usageconfidence generally broaden the scope of users online activities. The present studyexamines this premise with the underlying assumption that differing contexts of SNSdiffusion would be reflected in the range of activities pursued. The two countries havein common that each represents one of the highest levels of IT diffusion in the worldand both countries take the lead in IT standards.

    This study differs from other descriptions or comparisons of online activities inseveral aspects. First it develops specific attitudes to and behaviour on SNSs,representing the range of user interactions in SNSs. Second its comparison of US, andKorean users provides a cross-national perspective on user motivation and activity atdifferent stages of SNS diffusion. The rationales for seeking a cross-nationalperspective are to establish correlations between factors, generalise and abstract, andshare information with other countries. It is worthwhile to identify the factors, whichaccelerate or retard the development of Web 2.0 in different environments. Thus thefindings on cross-national perspectives can suggest appropriate courses of action foracademia, regulatory agencies, and businesses. The findings contribute to the growingmulti-cultural studies on TAM. Finally the study also addresses the paucity ofcomparative SNS adoption research in the international arena. TAM was recentlyapplied in a cross-cultural study by Teo et al. (2008) to examine the factors affecting theglobal consumer acceptance of international IT in Malaysia and Singapore. Thus far nocross-cultural study has applied TAM to investigate SNS acceptance differencesbetween the East and the West. For this reason it is relevant to examine how TAM canbe validated across Korea and the US.

    The findings of this study should be of interest to both academics and practitioners.From a theoretical perspective this study provides a model for identifying theantecedents of user intention to use online SNSs. The modified TAM model seems wellsuited for developing an evaluative framework for services that are adopted forfunctional reasons and for services that are directed specifically at innovative userattitudes. While extensive studies of online services have been conducted in theInformation Systems field using various frameworks, SNSs from a cross-nationalperspective remain an under-researched area.

    It is worthwhile to examine SNS users behavioural aspects from modified TAMperspectives. It has been noted that TAM needs to be extended to different contexts

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  • and should be validated in different cultures to enhance its generalisability (Singh et al.,2006; Yoo and Donthu, 2001; Zeithaml et al., 2000; Straub et al., 1997). This studyprovides a cross-cultural validation of TAM, and tests it in a different context of a newonline service. An important explanatory variable when determining international SNSsite usage is cultural adaptation, as seen in this study. From a practical standpoint agood basis exists for industry to consider developing a service evaluation frameworkto determine the adoption potential of new SNSs in the Web 3.0 era. Online servicedevelopers are facing the challenge of how to create an environment that promoteseasy interaction and that is fun. In particular social media marketing and the onlineinformation field are fast-growing innovations that tap into the rising influence ofuser-generated communities. The findings of this study should aid online SNSdevelopers to improve their effectiveness.

    This article is organised as follows. The next section provides a literature review onthe two SNSs selected. The subsequent section explains the theoretical framework usedto investigate SNS users, proposes the research model, and develops the hypothesestested in this study. Then the research method is described, followed by the results ofempirical tests, which are then discussed. The findings are summarised and someconclusions made. After the studys limitations are mentioned, possible directions andimplications for future research are outlined.

    Literature reviewAn SNS is an online service focusing on building and reflecting social networks orsocial relationships among people who share interests and/or activities (Boyd andEllison, 2007). Its service essentially consists of a representation of each user, theirsocial links, and a variety of additional services. The US and Korea were chosen asexamples in order to compare western and eastern countries because the two countrieshave high levels of online usage and SNSs are growing. Both Cyworld and MySpaceexperienced significant growth soon after their launch. Cyworld is referred to as SouthKoreas version of MySpace, which is one of the most popular SNSs in the US.

    Korean online SNS CyworldCyworld is the first social networking site in Korea. As of 2008 the membership figuresshowed that 90 per cent of all Koreans in their 20s and around 25 per cent of Koreasentire population are registered with Cyworld. Social networking via Cyworld takes upmost of the time spent online, where meeting, dating, and entertaining people onlinehas become a social norm (Shin and Kim, 2008). With over 20 million unique visitors amonth, Cyworlds popularity and usage is actually greater than their registered userbase. There are over 18 million registered users; Koreas total population is 48 million.The simplicity of buying items to decorate ones mini-hompy (mini-homepage), withoutneeding to learn HTML or Photoshop, has attracted many young women who had notpreviously used the internet (Kim and Yun, 2007).

    Cyworld provides virtual rooms (mini-homy) on which users can post, update, andmaintain bulletin boards, diaries, photos, messages, and other information. Itsdistinctive characteristics are services such as a mini-room, buddy relationship service,and other decorating functions. Members cultivate online and offline relationships byforming ilchon buddy relationships (a user can link their mini-hompy to anotherusers mini-hompy to form a buddy relationship. Users create ilchon relationships that

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  • occur when one user accepts an invitation sent by another user with each other throughan individualised mini-hompy, which encompasses a photo gallery, message board,guest book, and personal bulletin board. What sets Cyworld apart from traditional blogsites is the miniroom which is the virtual room where the users cyberspace avatar ormini me lives.

    In 2006 Cyworld was introduced in the US, Europe, and Southeast Asian countries.Surprisingly the entrance into new markets was not easy due to sluggish acceptancecaused by strong regional competitors. It is said that the strong preferences for Koreanculture limited the growth of Cyworld in the US.

    MySpace and Facebook in the USAMySpace and Facebook were selected as counterparts of Cyworld because they are twoof the most representative SNSs in the US (Raacke and Raacke, 2008). The two sites offeran interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups,photos, music, and videos internationally for teenagers and adults. MySpace, with 70million visitors, has become the digital equivalent of hanging out at the mall for todaysteens, who load the site with photos, news about music groups, and detailed profilesdescribing their likes and dislikes (De Souza and Dick, 2007). Data supports anecdotalevidence of heavy use of Facebook, ranking it tenth on the internet in overall traffic. With8.5 million users per month, about 60 per cent of its registered users visit the site daily.

    Since its inception MySpace has been the most popular SNS in the US (Dwyer, 2007).The 100 millionth account was created on 6 August 2007 in the US and the site attracts230,000 new users per day. MySpace had a head start getting into the global market,launching its first international site in Britain in April 2006, before rolling out sites inother European countries, generally with success. More recently MySpace has begunlaunching in other countries, including India, Russia, and South Korea. MySpace still hasmore countries in which it is embedded in the local language there are 29 translatedversions of MySpace specialised for 25 countries. Despite its aggressive expansionoverseas, MySpace, which has about 110 million monthly users globally, is losingmomentum. This may reflect that what works in America does not always translate wellin foreign markets. The assumption that what works in one country will automaticallywork in another country is not proving to be the case for both Cyworld and MySpace.

    Comparing the two sites with extrinsic and intrinsic interactionCyworld and MySpace differ in that each is designed to promote either extrinsic orintrinsic social interaction. Cyworld has small, photobook or album-like features,unlike MySpace with its full screen wall posts. Cyworld also offers little clickable tabswith labels like photos, bio, music, and moving images. Cyworld gives each of theirusers a little character with its own room that users may choose to decorate, whichmany of the Cyworld users do enthusiastically. These features clearly represent theintrinsic nature of user motivations, such as perceived involvement and perceivedenjoyment. For example one of reasons that Korean users are highly involved can berelated to the Cyworld features. On the Cyworld site, users can build a personal spacecalled a minihome and fill it with animals, furniture, and miniature people. Theseminihomes also include photo galleries, videos, and personal message boards.Minihomes are the backdrop to the whole Cyworld experience. These are essentiallyvirtual rooms that users can decorate and customise by purchasing objects with

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  • acorns, which must be bought with real money. A users avatar is called a mini me, andcan be customised. Cyworld users can also indicate their current mood, write journalentries, and upload photos to share with their friends in their minihome window.

    In contrast MySpace has a relatively simple design, with a neatly organised profilethat makes it easy for users and visitors to navigate. Although MySpace pages aredifferent, they all retain that uniform structure that allows users to find everything onthe site easily. On MySpace every profile page follows a predefined structure, whichmakes it easy for users to get used to. This predefined structure minimises usersopportunities to change both design and content on the profile page (perceivedinvolvement). Unless users are skilled in webpage structure, the profile pages caneasily be a mess. Whereas MySpace is, in its most simple form, a page with differentsections, Cyworld presents users with a different experience that is placed wholly inthe hands of its users (involvement). Cyworld gives users a social networking channelthat allows them to express themselves in intimate and fun ways. These intrinsicallydriven motivations are distinguished from extrinsic motivations in that they areelicited by the enjoyment of using SNS (perceived enjoyment).

    Cross-national research in technology acceptanceIn the evolution toward globalisation of markets and corporate multi-nationalism, thevalue of more cross-cultural research is increasing. As firms expand their operations inthe international arena, there is a need to exploit the power of IT to communicateamong these widespread locations and to coordinate activities both within and acrosscountries. Hence it is important for the managers of these firms to learn about thecross-cultural adoption and use of IT. Such knowledge can make the differencebetween success and failure in implementing IT, in particular emerging newtechnologies such as Web 2.0. SNSs are one of the main applications of Web 2.0 andhave been poised to be global applications. In light of this rising importance, Korea andthe US have been the best markets for SNSs. Interestingly both SNSs attempted toprovide their service cross-culturally: Cyworld entered the US market, whereasMySpace entered the Korean market, and both efforts failed. The cross-failure casesraise compelling research questions for cross-national research. The answers from across-national approach can fill the gap in the TAM literature. The emphasis on across-national approach in this study derives from the intention to avoid culturalethnocentrism in building the argument.

    TAM research frameworkTAM has been widely used to predict user acceptance and use based on perceivedusefulness and ease of use (Davis, 1989). TAM posits that behavioural intention is asignificant determinant of actual system use, and that behavioural intention isdetermined by two salient beliefs: perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. Theperceived usefulness refers to the degree to which an individual believes that usinga particular system would enhance his/her job performance (Davis, 1989, p. 320). Theperceived ease of use refers to the degree to which an individual believes that usinga particular system would be free of physical and mental efforts (Davis, 1989, p. 323).In TAM an individuals belief determines their attitude toward using the system and,in turn, the attitude develops the intention to use. This intention influences the decision

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  • of actual technology usage. These causalities are broadly studied and accepted in theTAM literature.

    With the proliferation of the internet and convergence technologies, researchershave modified TAM to demonstrate the empirical evidence of it in the convergencecontext. In fact many researchers have proposed various extensions to TAM. Forinstance Moon and Kim (2001) added perceived playfulness as one of the antecedents ofattitude toward web surfing. They noted that most prior TAM research had focusedonly on extrinsic motivation, not on intrinsic motivation.

    Hypothesis developmentThis study began with pilot studies via three focus-group sessions in each country andin-depth interviews with 10 SNS users in the two countries. The hypothesisdevelopment method consisted of four phases. First individual in-depth interviewswere conducted with possible customers; 10 college students were asked to explaintheir experiences and opinions of the SNSs. Second six focus groups were organised,and group interviews were conducted, in which groups of four to six individualsdiscussed how they currently use SNSs and/or what factors would influence their useof the services in the future. The goal of the individual interviews and focus groupsessions was to test and validate the research model, to identify items missing from themodel and to gain a preliminary understanding of the factors that have an impact onSNS behaviours. Third, based on the focus group sessions, the final surveyquestionnaire was developed through several comment rounds of an expert panelconsisting of professors and researchers, as well as communication experts. Prior to itsuse the questionnaire was tested by administering a pilot survey among possible users,who provided a comprehensive review of individual responses to the pretest survey.The pilot test analysis consisted of a detailed comparison of the data for each of thepretest survey participants with other responses. The wording of items was reviewedand modified, based on the pilot test outcomes, by three professors whose expertise isin quantitative research and survey design.

    A pilot test was undertaken to examine test-retest reliability and constructreliability before conducting the fieldwork. A total of 20 students who had hadexperience with SNSs participated, with tests given at a three-week interval. Theparticipant group was familiar with SNSs, and prior to answering the questionnairethey were strictly instructed to ask the researcher any questions about thequestionnaire items that they did not understand. With these precautions thepossibility of participants filling out some questions without exactly understandingthe content of those questions was eliminated. Finally to reduce possible ambiguity insyntax and semantics, a final pilot test was performed involving 22 respondentsself-selected from the mobile community.

    The results from the two countries were compared and contrasted, and eightdimensions emerged: perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, perceived security,perceived enjoyment, perceived involvement, perceived connectedness, social pressure,and flow. These dimensions, were also recommended, by the experts, in online services,from both countries. Two groups of SNS experts advised this study on the possibledimensions, which were almost identical to the suggestions from a group of academicresearchers. Based on a final list of dimensions, exploratory factor analysis identifiedfive dimensions (perceived usefulness, perceived enjoyment, perceived involvement,

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  • perceived connectedness, and flow). The first hypothesis starts with the relationshipbetween attitude and intention. As the relationship has been researched extensively,the relationship can be applied to SNSs.

    H1.The attitude toward SNSs is positively related to the intention to use SNSs.

    Perceived usefulnessTAM uses two distinct but interrelated beliefs perceived usefulness and perceivedease of use as the basis for predicting end-user acceptance of computer technology.Of the two TAM variables, studies have found perceived usefulness to have thestrongest influence (Davis, 1989). The classic definition of perceived usefulness byDavis (1989) is the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system willenhance their job performance. The current study highlights the capable of being usedadvantageously aspect. This can be a significant conceptual shift from collectiveproductivity to personal productivity.

    H2. There is a positive relationship between perceived usefulness and intention touse SNSs.

    H3. There is a positive relationship between perceived usefulness and attitudetowards SNSs.

    Perceived enjoymentSNSs can be seen as hedonic systems as they offer entertaining content and services.As a hedonic information system, Cyworld can be better suited for enjoyment than easeof use. While Davis et al. (1992) classify enjoyment as a type of intrinsic motivation andperceived usefulness as a type of extrinsic motivation, they define enjoyment as theextent to which the activity of using a computer system is perceived to be personallyenjoyable in its own right aside from the instrumental value of the technology. Shin(2007) studied online services using utilitarian and hedonic purpose frameworks andfound that perceived enjoyment as a hedonic purpose strongly influenced online use forentertainment purposes. It can be hypothesised that people seek the hedonic SNSs tosatisfy their entertainment purposes.

    H4. There is a positive relationship between perceived enjoyment and intention touse SNSs.

    H5. There is a positive relationship between perceived enjoyment and attitudetowards SNSs.

    Perceived involvement (participation)Involvement by users is generally deemed most critical during the requirementdefinition and logical design phases (Doll and Torkzadeh, 1989). Users exposed tocustomised content are likely to exhibit greater involvement than those exposed tonon-customised content because the former will detect a greater degree of associationsor personal references in the content as it is based on their interests (Shin and Kim,2008). Greater involvement will lead to greater motivation to process the message, andusers are likely to consider the message in terms of psychosocial consequences that areclosely tied to their personal value system (Peter and Olson, 1987). When users areexposed to customised content, they will be more involved with the content because it

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  • is more interesting and important to them than non-customised content. CustomisedSNSs can foster a sense of engagement or involvement by giving users access toinformation that they want, and this can result in users adopting a positive stancetoward the SNS sites.

    H6. There is a positive relationship between perceived involvement and perceivedenjoyment.

    H7. There is a positive relationship between perceived involvement and attitudetowards SNSs.

    Perceived connectedness (perceived sharing)People preferred to actively communicate their (in)availability rather than having thesystem automatically display it. They preferred to simply tell the other person thatthey were not available instead of using the system to show this. SNSs can increase afeeling of connectedness, which was in most cases a positive feeling. In the onlineenvironment, electronic communities are forming around groups of users with acommon interest and give users an unprecedented means of interacting with each other(Shin and Kim, 2008). These communities have become dynamic places for users topursue their interests. This kind of social interaction need can be fulfilled regardless ofwhere users are in the online environment. Users perception of connectedness is thatusers are emotionally connected with the world, its resources and people. Users can begratified or comforted with psychological connectedness via SNSs and may experiencea strong illusion of presence while using them (Shin, 2008). It is reported that SNS sitesallow users to stay connected with other users (Boyd and Ellison, 2007). This feeling ofconnectedness or closeness is represented by the notion of perceived connectedness.

    H8. There is a positive relationship between perceived connectedness andperceived usefulness.

    H9. There is a positive relationship between perceived connectedness and attitudetowards SNSs.

    Flow (telepresence)Flow is the mental state of operation in which person is fully immersed in what theyare doing by a feeling of energised focus, full immersion, and success in the process ofthe activity. During the interaction with the entertaining object, a strong sense of beingthere (telepresence or immersion) is developed, which leads to much more thoroughexploratory behaviour afterwards. While similar to perceived connectedness, theconcept of flow focuses on the sense of immersion. This conceptualisation differs fromperceived connectedness, which highlights users social interaction. Presence has beenrecognised as a key performance goal for many systems and can provide insight intothe mediums ability to provide the feeling that the user is there inside the medium(Nowak and Biocca, 2003). When telepresent, the user feels immersed in theenvironment represented by the SNS (Shin and Kim, 2008). Nowak and Biocca (2003)have described telepresence as the users compelling sense of being in a mediated spaceand not where their physical body is located. The flow constructs can be used as validmetrics for the SNS experience.

    H10. Flow experience has a strong effect on intention to use SNS.

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  • This model (see Figure 1) presents a well-balanced composition of extrinsic andintrinsic motivations. According to Venkatesh and Speier (1999) extrinsic motivationrefers to the performance of an activity. Extrinsic motivation is perceived to helpachieve valued outcomes that are distinct from the activity itself, such as improvingjob performance, pay, etc. Intrinsic motivation refers to the performance of an activityfor no reason other than the process of performing it. Davis (1989) argued that theconcept of intrinsic motivation had received inadequate attention in TAM theories.Other researchers (Shin, 2007; Venkatesh, 2000; Davis et al., 1992; Webster andMartocchio, 1992) emphasised the importance of the role of enjoyment, a form ofintrinsic motivation, in workplace computing. Shin (2007) and Davis et al. (1992)classified enjoyment as a type of intrinsic motivation and perceived usefulness as atype of extrinsic motivation.

    With these two different motivations in focus, this study proposes perceivedinvolvement as another factor of intrinsic motivation, enhancing perceived enjoyment.It also proposes perceived connectedness as a variation of extrinsic motivation,supporting perceived usefulness. This motivational formation is well suited to thenature of SNS users. For example users find MySpace useful because they can connectthemselves to an online community (a feeling of connectedness). Users find Cyworldenjoyable because they can design/build their own minihompy (user involvement andengagement).

    The proposed model is intentionally simplified to be parsimonious. While theremight be other links among the variables in the proposed model, those possible linksare not investigated as the focus of this study is to investigate the extrinsic andintrinsic motivational aspects of SNSs. Based on the findings of this model, futurestudies may further investigate the possible links to expand the findings.

    Research methodologySample and data collectionThis study collected data from SNS users from Korea and the US using a paper-basedsurvey. A total of 351 undergraduate/graduate students (170 in Korea; 181 in the USA)

    Figure 1.Proposed research model

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  • were recruited from two universities. The survey was distributed in a classroomsetting. Students were recruited to participate for extra credit during class time via anoral presentation given by the principal investigator. A student sample is justifiedgiven that SNS users fit the demographics of university students between the ages of18 and 30 (Boyd and Ellison, 2007; Hargittai, 2007). Respondents took approximately15 minutes to complete the whole survey.

    Survey questions, developed in two languages, were presented in each country toexplore the factors that determine social network user dimensions. The English versionof the questionnaire used in the US was translated into Korean and then backtranslated into English to ensure comparability (See Appendix). To refine and increasethe validity of the survey data, 41 responses that contained answers with systematicerrors and those with inconsistent information were excluded.

    MeasurementsThe scale items were developed from previously studied and validated measures andwere carefully restated to reflect the characteristics of SNSs. The ten variables are wellestablished in the information systems and TAM literature. Prior to the further study,the pilot test for measures was conducted. The wording of items was reviewed andmodified based on the pilot test outcomes by experts in the quantitative research area.The participants indicated their agreement with a set of statements drawn frompreviously validated instruments.

    The measures of behavioural intention to use and perceived usefulness wereadapted from previous studies related to the TAM model, mainly that of Davis (1989).Perceived usefulness was measured with six items from Davis (1989) measuring theextent to which a person believed that SNSs were capable of being usedadvantageously and provided positive expected outcomes (alpha 0.89). Theelements of enjoyment were taken from the scale developed by Nysveen et al. (2005).The items were entertainment, relaxation, excitement, and fun-seeking gratification.The measures of perceived involvement such as emotional involvement,customisability, and participation were selectively adopted from Kalyanaraman andSundar (2006). Perceived connectedness was measured with the items (perceivedavailability) used by Shin (2009) and the items (perceived synchronicity) used bySchroeder (2002). Flow experience was measured using the work of Trevino andWebster (1992), Rettie (2001), and Shin and Kim (2008) who gauge ones level of flowwith constructs such as control, attention, and telepresence. All the measures in thepresent study are based on previously validated measures (Venkatesh and Morris,2000) and are considered reliable. The measure items were tested by Cronbachs alpha.The score ranged between 0.83 and 0.94, suggesting high internal consistency and thusacceptable reliability (see Table I).

    The convergent validity for the proposed constructs was adequate as shown by theaverage variances extracted. Convergent validity is determined to be acceptable whenthe average variance extracted equals or exceeds 0.50 (Fornell and Larcher, 1981). Thedescriptive statistics for each construct items are shown in Table II. All means weregreater than 3.5, ranging from 3.65 to 5.19. This indicates overall positive responses tothe constructs that were measured in this study. The standard deviations for allvariables were less than one and this indicates that the item scores were around themean scores.

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  • ResultsDescriptiveOn average the US respondents were older (23 years) than the Korean respondents (21years). The overall respondent mean age was 23.4 (SD 1:41). Among the USrespondents just over half (51.7 per cent) were university students, 22.1 per cent had abachelors degree, and 18.7 per cent had a postgraduate degree (masters or doctorates).Only 7.5 per cent reported that their highest level of qualification was having somehigh school education or having completed high school. Among Korean respondentseducation levels were clearly higher, with a slight majority indicating that they weregraduates or higher (31 per cent had bachelors degrees; 20.7 per cent had masters ordoctorates). Just over a third (35.6 per cent) were university students and a little over 12per cent had some high school education or had completed high school. The meanannual income in US dollars was $30,191 for the US respondents and $27,282 forKorean respondents. This placed the US respondents in this study within an averageUS income group and Korean respondents in a slightly higher Korean income group.The US respondents reported about two years of SNS usage and Korean respondentsabout three years. Thus Korean SNS users in this study were younger and moreeducated, and also included more males than females. The US users were alsorelatively well educated but were mostly in college, older, included more females thanmales, had average incomes, and had been online for about seven years (Koreans hadbeen online for about five years).

    The US KoreaConstruct Mean SD Mean SD T

    Perceived usefulness 4.13 0.55 3.99 0.59 2.05 *

    Perceived connectedness 4.79 0.55 3.82 0.63 3.18 * *

    Perceived enjoyment 3.79 0.54 4.31 0.61 1.98 *

    Perceived involvement 4.01 0.51 5.19 0.62 3.03 * *

    Flow experience 3.65 0.50 3.81 0.62 1.31Attitude 3.98 0.49 3.86 0.41 1.29Intention 3.87 0.41 3.59 0.40 1.24

    Notes: *p , 0.05; * *p , 0.01

    Table II.Descriptive statistics ofthe constructs

    Factor Cronbachs alpha Average variance extracted

    Perceived usefulness (four items) 0.8894 0.70Perceived connectedness (three items) 0.9467 0.54Perceived enjoyment (four items) 0.8873 0.52Perceived involvement (three items) 0.8389 0.62Flow experience (three items) 0.8302 0.60Intention 0.8110 0.61Attitude (three items) 0.9101 0.87

    Note: *Cumulative per cent of variance: 73.1 per cent

    Table I.Cronbachs alphareliability coefficients fordifferent scales

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  • Model fitWhen using SEM it is common to use a variety of indices to measure model fit. For theinvestigation of model fit, a range of fit indices are reported including X 2. Since X 2 (df)is sensitive to sample size, the fit indices AGFI, NFI, RMSEA, and CFI more correctlyreflect model fit (Hair et al., 1998). The goodness-of-fit index (GFI) 0.94,AGFI 0.92, the root mean-square residual (RMSR) 0.10 (SRMR 0.05), thenormed fit index (NFI) 0.93, and the comparative fit index (CFI) 0.94. According toBrown and Cudeck (1993) an acceptable fit exists where AGFI . 0.80 andRMSEA , 0.10. Taken together these figures provide evidence of a reasonably goodfit, which is suggestive of trail-valid component measures in the form of the scalesindicating each construct. Internal consistency for the three scales was also strong,evidenced by a coefficient alpha of 0.94 for the scale indicating perceived enjoyment,0.89 for perceived usefulness, 0.89 for perceived quality, and 0.84 for perceivedavailability. The model fit is considered acceptable and nine structural paths wereentered into the model. The fit indices again indicated good fit of the data (see Table III).

    Structural paths and hypothesis testsTo test the structural relationships, the hypothesised causal paths were estimated andthe two sets of hypotheses in each case had different results. While two hypotheses (H3and H9) were rejected in the Korean model, three different hypotheses were notsupported in the US model (H4, H5 and H7). The results showed noticeable differencesin path formation and composition of items (see Table IV). The overall fit of each modelwas acceptable because the goodness-of-fix statistics (CFI 0.912, GFI 0.876,AGFI 0.847, and RMSEA 0.074; CFI 0.819, GFI 0.795, AGFI 0.831, andRMSEA 0.163; CFI 0.938; GFI 0.906; AGFI 0.902; and RMSEA 0.068)were satisfactory, with the X 2/df ratio close to 2.0.

    Perceived usefulness had a significant direct effect on intention (H2) for US users(beta 0:49; t 2:021), but a moderate effect on intention for Korean users(beta 0:29; t 3:010). Likewise perceived enjoyment had a substantial effect onintention for Korean users (H4, beta 0:57; t 2:001) and an insignificant effect onintention for US users (H4, beta 0:17; t 1:890). A similar pattern is found in H8and H9: perceived connectedness had significant effects in the US case, but not in theKorean case. In the same manner, while perceived involvement had significant effects

    Fit statisticsOverallmodel USA Korea

    Recommendedvalue

    X 2 239.8 159.6 175.3 p , 0.05X 2/df 2.74 1.83 1.93 , 5p-value 0.000 0.000 0.000 . 0.05AGFI (adjusted goodness of fit) 0.83 0.81 0.82 . 0.8RMSEA (root mean square error ofapproximation) 0.07 0.06 0.06 . 0.06CFI (comparative fit index) 0.94 0.94 0.96 . 0.90NFI (normed fit index) 0.93 0.92 0.91 . 0.90Incremental fit index 0.95 0.94 0.95 . 0.90

    Table III.Fit indices for the

    measurement model andstructural model

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  • in the Korean case, it had an insignificant effect (H7) or moderate effect (H6) in the UScase. Coincidentally the paths of attitude to intentions showed the same effect (0.39) inboth countries (H1). Overall the two models of the US and Korea had good fit with theirdata, but each model showed a different pattern.

    The findings show that both extrinsic and intrinsic motivations exhibited equallystrong effects on users attitudes and intention to use SNSs, but the magnitude of theimpact differs between the two groups. The path loading of extrinsic motivations (H3and H9) to attitude was 0.41 and 0.61 (p , 0:01), supporting H3 and H9 respectivelyfor the US. The path loading was 0.19 and 0.11 (p , 0:01), rejecting H3 and H9 forKorea. Likewise the results support intrinsic motivations H5 and H7, as perceivedinvolvement and perceived enjoyment were positively related to attitude toward SNSs(Korea loading 0.49 and 0.59, p , 0:05; US loading 0.18 and 0.17, p , 0:05). Inboth countries flow led to a strong intention to use SNSs (Korea loading 0.32,p , 0:05; US loading 0.48, p , 0:05), supporting hypothesis H10. The paths ofattitude on intention (H1) showed positive significant effects in both cases (Korealoading 0.42, p , 0:05; US loading 0.39, p , 0:05). A comparison of the estimatedcoefficients of all independent variables showed that involvement is the mostimportant determinant for Korean users behaviours, whereas connectedness is themost significant determinant for the US users.

    Discussion: inside-out or outside-in online servicesThis study aimed to find out why some SNSs work and others do not. In order toanswer this question the present study conducted a comparative investigation bybuilding on previous studies and by validating TAM in the two countries. The studyprovides not only a cross-cultural validation of TAM; it also tested TAM in a differentcontext of SNSs. The findings show that perceived usefulness, connectedness,enjoyment, and involvement are significant determinants of both countries users. Atthe same time, differences were identified in terms of intrinsic and extrinsicdimensions. From the differences, it can be inferred that users motivations in differentcontexts are an important explanatory variable when determining cross-national SNSsite usage.

    Cyworld Korea MySpace USHypothesis Path coefficient t-value Support Path coefficient t-value Support

    H1: Attitude ! Intention 0.39 * * 5.120 Yes 0.39 * * 5.120 YesH2: PU ! Intention 0.29 * 2.021 Yes 0.49 * * 2.021 YesH3: PU ! Attitude 0.19 6.717 No 0.41 * 6.717 YesH4: PE ! Intention 0.57 * * 2.001 Yes 0.17 2.001 NoH5: PE ! Attitude 0.49 * 2.459 Yes 0.18 2.459 NoH6: PI ! PE 0.53 * * 0.314 Yes 0.23 * 0.314 YesH7: PI ! Attitude 0.59 * * 4.423 Yes 0.51 * * 4.423 NoH8: PC ! PU 0.27 * 4.204 Yes 0.57 * * 4.204 YesH9: PC ! Attitude 0.11 2.123 No 0.61 * * 2.123 YesH10: FL ! Intention 0.29 * 1.923 Yes 0.29 * 1.923 YesNotes: *p , 0.05; * *p , 0.001

    Table IV.Summary of hypothesistests

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  • The differences in the SNS motivations between the two countries may be attributedto the fact that there are some significant differences between the two sites and thepeople who are active on them. The results reveal two sets of distinctive motivations inusing SNSs: the extrinsic and intrinsic dimensions. While previous studies have shownthat social interaction is the main motivation to use MySpace and Cyworld (Shin andKim, 2008; Kim and Yun, 2007) the present study shows that such social interactiondiffers in terms of the direction and the goal of interaction, that is, the extrinsic andintrinsic nature of social interaction. The findings, of this study, can be explained, bythe two types of social interaction.

    On Cyworld the friend-users are usually their real friends who they know and sharecontent with (Shin and Kim, 2008). MySpace, on the other hand, does not put theemphasis on real existing friends (Dwyer, 2007). Generally MySpace attracts memberswho bond over shared interests and opinions (as shown by high perceivedconnectedness). That creates a clubby and trusted group of virtually connected friendsor associates. As it was originally started by musicians, who wanted to spread theirmusical works. The main goal of MySpace is to promote their ideas and exchange themwith the outside world. The users find MySpace useful because it enables them toconnect with other people. The motivation for self-promotion is differentiated from themotivations of Cyworld in that it is extrinsically stimulated. MySpace allows users tocreate and join groups on the site and this can be a way to meet new people with thesame interests as themselves. For this reason social relations on MySpace seem to besomewhat shallower than on Cyworld due to the lack of implicit real-world anchorsrevealed through users profiles and/or friends lists (Raacke and Raacke, 2008; Kim andYun, 2007). MySpace is a place for their selling points and it may be that socialrelations are viewed as more outbound. MySpace socialising appears to be based moreon marketing factors, rather than social ones. This may be the reason that the MySpaceusers exhibit highly significant perceived usefulness along with perceivedconnectedness. That is, the users perceive MySpace as useful because of the merit ofselling points. As the relationships are new, social relations are viewed as moresuperficial and transient. This is not the case on Cyworld, which enhances networksand groups whose relationships are already established. On Cyworld suchrelationships are already established in the physical world and Cyworld providesthem with a platform to reinforce these existing relationships.

    This contrasting nature can be explained using the outside-in and inside-out designprinciple. While Cyworld has an inward nature, MySpace shows outward tendencies.Inwardly Cyworld tends to enhance existing relationships that are already establishedin a real world inner circle. Both Cyworld and MySpace operate on the notion ofconnecting friends. However the differences in how people represent themselves lead todifferences in the types of friends that are made on each site. For example Cyworldusers can put their pictures and movies on the mini-homepage just like on MySpace.One difference is that users can allow only their Ilchon buddies to view their pictures.To access the content of a minihompy, one has to be invited by another member. Noone else can see a picture and no one can save a picture that is posted on Cyworld totheir own computer. MySpace does not have such restrictions on friending practices. Itis common on MySpace to get a friend request from a stranger and for that initialcontact to turn into an important connection in the users life. The main function ofMySpace is to promote ideas and works, and this is the reason that many users use

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  • MySpace for informing others of their interests and activities. In addition MySpacesoutward nature becomes quite clear with the self-advertising platform, which allowsusers to upload their own ads.

    Cyworld users might think that Cyworld allows users to build strongerrelationships with people, maybe because it makes users feel more tightlyconnected. The users might enjoy watching the paths of other peoples lives,especially their existing friends. Cyworld takes the effort out of friendship, whereasMySpace takes the work out of casual social relations. On MySpace the feeling ofconnectedness has much to do with connection to outside general communities. This isreflected in the types of people on MySpace, which is a popular place for artists of alltypes to promote their work. Cyworld appears to facilitate bonding types of socialrelations: relations among people who already share similar social connections throughcontexts that are rooted to users known realities. These contexts include geographic(place-based) and institutional (school, work, family) realities. For these externalrelationships the MySpace users create outbound links from their profiles andcommunity pages, including forums, directories, blogs, and article sites. From theprofile, users link wherever they choose. Contrastingly Cyworld is a tool best used tomaintain friendships, at least it leaves the user feeling more connected to their friends(Shin and Kim, 2008). The inbound links created by Cyworld users are only linked toother Cyworld users.

    Overall, social relations that are formed through MySpace, that is connectionsbetween users, are best thought of as the bridging type; members use the platform toreach out to strangers or those which are in sufficiently different circumstances fromtheir own (Dwyer, 2007, p. 12). The Cyworld network is a more egocentric based one(Shin and Kim, 2008) where users cannot only decorate/define their self through theminiroom, but also the quality of associations. However relationships that are formedvia MySpace which do not have real-life grounding are those, which exist purely fortheir own sake and are based on representation and interpretation of the self-alone. TheMySpace platform appears to have more cultural value than social networking value. Itis a means of staying connected to, and the creation of, user-created culture; music,visual arts, and writing in the form of blogs. This argument is in line with the findingsof the intrinsic nature of perceived involvement for the Cyworld users and the extrinsicnature of perceived connectedness for the MySpace users.

    Based on these findings and discussions, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation canbe redefined differently from traditional definitions in previous TAM studies.According to the traditional definitions from psychology and Information Systems,intrinsic motivation makes people do something without external pressure ormotivation. Activities that are intrinsically motivating are activities that peopleengage in for no other reason than personal satisfaction and enjoyment. Extrinsicmotivation makes people do something because of external factors such as getting areward or a high mark for good work. As far as SNSs are concerned, the definitionsof intrinsic and extrinsic motivations can be changed from a dimensionalperspective. What Cyworld truly reveals is the sheer power that intrinsic motivatorscan have on an individual, whereas what MySpace shows is the extrinsic motivationthat drives users to communicate and interact with a general mass audience incyberspace. Intrinsic dimensions of SNSs can be that users attempt to enhanceexisting relationships or stay in touch with old friends and extend the relationships

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  • in cyberspace with common interests. Extrinsic dimensions involve seeking andexploring a new relationship in cyberspace. In other words Cyworld is more gearedto forge an intranet that is enhancing an inner circle of social relationships, whereasMySpace is more geared toward an open network that anybody can freely join andparticipate in. This might be a matter of bridging or bonding, or making newrelationships or keeping existing relationships. This subject needs to be furtherresearched by future studies.

    ConclusionsThe SEM results implied that the TAM theory effectively explains users attitudestoward online SNSs across the samples from both countries. It was found in bothcountries that users who perceive SNSs as useful and entertaining generally like SNSsand show a positive attitude toward them. In addition those who perceive SNSs asuseful and fostering connection are more likely to be motivated by extrinsicdimensions, which were found to be strong in the US users. Those who perceive SNSsas involving and enjoyable are more likely to be associated with the intrinsicdimensions, where were found in Korean users. The users in the two countries clearlydiffered in the way they thought about and preferred to interact through online SNSs.The results show that each component of motivation is different, which implies that theneeds and values of SNS users in the two countries may be different. The results showthat Korean users primary motivation is enjoyment which is greatly influenced byperceived involvement, whereas the US users main motivation is dependent on howuseful they perceive SNSs to be, which is heavily influenced by users feelings ofconnectedness.

    The additional survey result of online SNS preferences confirms this difference inthat Korean users use Cyworld because of involvement/participation, such asdecoration of mini-homepages and designing Cyworld portals, while the US users usesynchronous communication services more frequently. It can be inferred from thisdifference that Korean users tend to perceive SNS space as an extension of the realworld, doing activities similar to those in the real world in Cyworld, such asentertaining, decorating rooms, talking to friends, and selling and buying items. InKorea SNSs are mainly used as a relationship maintenance tool: users upload pictures,videos, and music and make these available only to their current friends. However inthe US SNSs are used as a tool to forge new relationships (inviting people to join theirsocial circles) and used as a place for self-expression, rather than relationshipmaintenance, and members do not necessarily expect someone to respond each timethey post something. The US users post messages and content and anyone can accessthem.

    LimitationsThis study contributes to the literature by formulating and validating TAM to predictSNS adoption and provides useful information for both domestic and international SNSdevelopers. However, it has some methodological, sampling, and interpretivelimitations and some of the findings require further discussion.

    First and foremost, the research model in this study excluded possible links amongthe variables. The model was designed to be parsimonious as it tested specificrelationships. While the attempt was effective and successful, the other possible links

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  • remain unexplored. This poses a significant limitation because such excluded linksmight influence the findings of the model. Thus future studies should investigate otherpossible links in relation to the identified relations of the model.

    Second, the sample drawn was a convenience sample of university students.Although most SNS users are young people according to previous studies (Shin, 2008;Kim and Yun, 2007) a convenience sample limits the validity of findings. The userswho responded might not represent the whole population because most users of SNSare young people. The subjects of the study were recruited to be representative ofyoung users. Thus this study does not provide comprehensive comparisons of the twocountries, rather it just provides a snapshot of a subset of subscribers.Methodologically it would have been better to examine the user motivations ofdifferent groups of users with a longitudinal investigation.

    Third, the current study did not consider external factors (different internetinfrastructure, service provisions, and content quality). In addition it did not includeindividual differences that potentially influence SNS adoption as factors in SNSacceptance (e.g. demographics, user experience, personal characteristics, etc.). Theselimitations pose a challenge for the analysis, particularly the different attitude andintention patterns. The differences can be largely attributed to differences betweenthe two countries infrastructure, industry structure, and market competition. Givena significant increase in variance of usage in many studies, it may be essential toinclude individual variables. A closer inspection of individual differences and theirdirect and indirect effects on SNS usage offers rich opportunities for future research.Future studies can investigate the differences further, incorporating such externalfactors.

    Fourth, while the findings imply the important role of cultural factors based on thefindings, they do not specifically refer to what role cultural factors play in adoption andhow the factors affect user behaviour. As the initial goal of this study was toinvestigate the different motivations of the two countries users, it did not includecultural factors in the adoption model. Because previous cultural studies have shownthat societal and cultural gaps are particularly evident between the two countries, thisstudy indirectly concludes that cultural distinctions largely explain why socialnetworks from abroad have difficulty establishing foreign markets.

    As an exploratory attempt, this study began with a simplified parsimoniousmodel. It did not examine complicated relations among factors. Many other arrowscould be added to the model. In particular perceived connectedness, flow, andperceived involvement could all be bidirectionally connected. These possiblysignificant links can be a starting point for future studies as it might be helpful tounravel the complex multi-dimensional functions of human behaviour in the cyberenvironment.

    Overall, this study can be a stepping-stone on the road to understanding socialsoftware user behaviour. Many issues remain unresolved and many questions areunanswered as Web 2.0 evolves to Web 3.0. Web 2.0 is aimed towards the social side ofthe online world while Web 3.0 is expected to develop applications more towardsfocused groups. This study took an exploratory step at studying the user experience ofstill emerging social software and found a number of metrics to be reliable andnomologically valid.

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  • Future research: directions and possibilitiesDespite its limitations the strengths of this study lie in the investigation of online SNSswith the TAM framework in a cross-national comparison. The present study shedslights on positive potential of the TAM theory for emerging online services. Thefindings suggest that new services should be rooted in known user interfaces andcultural differences. Therefore any attempt to speculate on the future direction ofonline information services should include the TAM approach. Among emergingtechnologies SNSs give TAM researchers some interesting possibilities for verificationof their previous results. This research could be useful to the TAM field, as it providesa picture of how users attempt to put their media use in the best light. The TAM hasnot been extensively applied outside the workplace and this study illustrated therobustness of the model as well as highlighting the role intrinsic motivators play intechnology acceptance, adding to the intrinsic motivation literature on SNSs.

    These findings could be used in TAM research where the results are not soreadily verifiable; the findings could provide useful insight into how usersresponded to the initial survey. This could lead to a more comprehensive view ofhow people use the web platform, and, more importantly, how they perceive theonline services over the web. In this regard future studies should investigate theadditional intrinsic and extrinsic gratifications of online information served bySNSs; how do individuals make sense of content from new Web 3.0 technologiescompared to the cognitions, emotions and predispositions people derive from theequivalent legacy technologies? Researchers must also be willing to explore thedirection of causality by examining changes over time with a longitudinal design,because online information is continuously advancing and web services are evolvingdramatically. Finally future studies may investigate comparative data with othertypes of service usage to provide additional insights on the social and culturalimpact of new online services in Web 3.0.

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    Appendix. Survey questionnairePart 1. Profiling questionsGender: Male or female

    My age:My highest level of education is:

    ____Below high school

    ____High school

    ____Attended university

    ____Undergraduate degree

    ____Postgraduate

    My annual household income is:

    ____Under $20,000

    ____$20,000-$45,000

    ____$45,000-$65,000

    ____$65,000-$90,000

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  • ____$90,000-$125,000

    ____$125,000 plus

    ____Prefer not to say

    My occupation is:

    ____Professional

    ____Owner (self-employed)

    ____Technician

    ____Secretarial

    ____Student

    ____Housewife

    ____Retired/unemployed

    ____Others

    Part 2. SNS questionsAnswer the following questions with the scale:

    Strongly disagree____Disagree____ Neutral____ Agree____ Strongly agree____Perceived usefulness:

    PU1: I think that SNSs are very useful to my life in general.

    PU2: I think that SNSs help to improve my performance in general.

    PU3: I think that SNSs help to enhance the effectiveness of my life in general.

    PU4: I think that SNSs provide very useful services and information to me.

    Perceived enjoyment:

    PE1: I find the services entertaining (Using SNSs provided me with a lot of enjoyment)

    PE2: I find the services pleasant (I am pleased when I use SNSs)

    PE3: I find the services exiting (I enjoyed using SNSs because it is exciting)

    PE4: I find the services fun (I had fun using SNSs)

    Attitude:

    A1: I think that using SNSs is a good idea.

    A2: I think that using SNSs is beneficial to me.

    A3: I have positive perceptions about using SNSs.

    Intention to use/adopt:

    I1: I intend to use SNSs in the future.

    I2: I intend to use SNSs as much as possible.

    I3: I recommend others to use SNSs.

    I4: I intend to continue using SNSs in the future.

    Flow:

    FL1: During my use of SNSs, I was absorbed intensely in the activity (concentration).

    FL2: I strongly feel that I am inside the virtual world when using SNSs (telepresence).

    FL3: During my use of SNSs, I felt in control (perceived control).

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  • Perceived involvement:

    PI1: I got emotionally involved in SNSs.

    PI2: I can participate in the activities in SNSs.

    PI3: I can customise the content and services in SNSs.

    Perceived connectedness:

    PC1: I feel good because I can access services any time via SNSs.

    PC2: I feel like being connected to external reality because I can search for informationthat I want.

    PC3: I feel emotionally comforted because I can do something interesting with SNSs at myconvenience.

    Part 3. Actual useHow many years have you been using mobile internet services?

    How many times do you believe you use mobile internet services during a week?

    ____ Not at all

    ____ About 1-3 times a week

    ____ Several times a week

    ____ About once a day

    ____ Several times each day

    How many hours do you believe you use mobile internet services every week?

    ____ less than 1 hour.

    ____ between 1-5 hours.

    ____ between 5-10 hours.

    ____ between 10-15 hours.

    ____ between 15-20 hours.

    ____ between 20-25 hours.

    ____ more than 25 hours.

    About the authorDong-Hee Shin is an Associate Professor of Interaction Science at Sungkyunkwan University inSeoul, South Korea. He has been nominated as a World-Class Scholar by the Korean Ministry ofEducation, Science and Technology. He was an Assistant Professor at the College of InformationSciences and Technology, Penn State University from 2004 to 2008. He earned his PhD andMasters degrees from Syracuse University. His main interests are human-computer interactionand telecommunications. His recent research work focuses on the social and policy aspects ofUbiquitous Computing acceptance. Dong-Hee Shin can be contacted at: dshin@skku.edu

    Analysis ofonline social

    networks

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