The Influence of Social Presence, Social Exchange and Feedback Features on SNS Continuous Use: The Facebook Context

The Influence of Social Presence, Social Exchange and Feedback Features on SNS Continuous Use: The Facebook Context

Mustapha Cheikh-Ammar (Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada) and Henri Barki (HEC Montreal, Montreal, Canada)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/JOEUC.2016040103
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Social network sites (SNS) are venues for information sharing that provide a variety of communication features capable of stirring emotions, attitudes and beliefs. This paper highlights the role of SNS feedback features and the meanings they communicate to their users, as design elements capable of enhancing the SNS experience. Based on the theories of Social Presence and Social Exchange, the study suggests and empirically validates a research model where Feedback, Perceived Social Presence, Attitude, Enjoyment and Perceived Usefulness are hypothesized to explain intentions to continue to use an SNS. The results of an online survey of 262 Facebook users found that feedback features were central SNS components that influenced perceptions of social presence and enjoyment, which in turn, along with attitude and perceived usefulness, influenced intentions to continue using Facebook, explaining 55% of its variance. The theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.
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Social network sites (SNS) such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus have become tremendously popular in the last decade. SNS are now widely used technologies (Gao, Dai, Fan, & Kang, 2010) that have fostered novel communication and information sharing venues while becoming deeply integrated into the everyday lives of their users (Cheikh-Ammar & Barki, 2012, 2013; Yoo, 2010). Many popular SNS are often viewed as indispensable by their users who visit these social venues regularly as part of their daily routines (Patterson, 2012; Pempek, Yermolayeva, & Calvert, 2009). SNS have also enabled both electronic and traditional companies to cultivate novel business opportunities (Roosendaal, 2011) and to interact with their customers, partners, and potential suppliers by leveraging the direct communication stream afforded by SNS (C. Xu, Ryan, Prybutok, & Wen, 2012). Organizations have also acknowledged the benefits of such social platforms with some of them even implementing their own SNS for internal use by their employees (DiMicco et al., 2008).

Moreover, the extensive diffusion and adoption of social media platforms is also expected to help organizations in the incoming years generate greater business value by enhancing their operational efficiency and revenue flows (Fosso Wamba & Carter, 2014). While organizations have only recently started tapping into the potential benefits of SNS (Kane, Alavi, Labianca, & Borgatti, 2014), managers generally believe that social businesses based on SNS tools will be crucial to business survival in the near future (Kiron, Palmer, Phillips, & Kruschwitz, 2012). Even though SNS differ in their business models and in the value they deliver to their users, in order to be considered successful, they all rely on regular contributions from, and continuous interactions of their members (C. Xu et al., 2012). As such, there is a need to better understand the reasons that motivate individuals to use SNS, especially since the IS literature presently lacks empirically validated theories that examine the adoption and continuous use of such platforms (Ryan & Xenos, 2011).

By drawing from the literature on post-adoption and e-commerce, the present paper examines factors that influence individuals’ intentions to continue the use of SNS. Similar to other social technologies, SNS have certain distinguishable features which can have significant implications for users and organizations (Roosendaal, 2011, 2012). For example, as venues for information sharing, SNS are typical communication platforms where the transmission of messages between users can take different forms, ranging from written texts, pictures and videos to symbols (i.e. thumbs-up), while concurrently providing several interactivity features (Hsu, Chen, Huang, & Huang, 2012). SNS are communication and information sharing platforms where individuals can interact with each other and where fun and human contact are often at the forefront (B. Kim, 2011). As a result, SNS features that can amplify feelings of enjoyment and sociability are also able to mold the online social experience of SNS users. Hence, we argue that the different meanings individuals associate with SNS feedback features can also reinforce their feelings of social presence and enjoyment during their use of SNS (Gefen & Straub, 2004; Hassanein & Head, 2007; Hess, Fuller, & Campbell, 2009; N. Kumar & Benbasat, 2006), which in turn can shape their online social experience, as well as their intention to continue using the SNS.

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