Social Media Intensity, EWOM, and Conspicuous Consumption among American, Korean, and Thai Consumers

Social Media Intensity, EWOM, and Conspicuous Consumption among American, Korean, and Thai Consumers

Amonrat Thoumrungroje (Assumption University, Thailand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch153

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Due to the advanced communication technology, led by the ubiquity of mobile devices and the ease of Internet accessibility worldwide, the number of Internet and social media users has increased rapidly. According to Statisca (2015), social media users have grown from 0.97 billion in 2010 to approximately 1.79 billion in 2014 (i.e., 85% growth). Amongst various players in this industry, the leading social network platform is Facebook with 1.36 billion users in 2014 (Kemp, 2015). While infrastructure to support online communications continues to develop in virtually all parts of the world, recent world statistics reveal that individual access to the Internet and usage of online social media vary between nations. Table 1 illustrates Internet and social media usage statistics of South Korea, Thailand, and the US—the three nations that were selected as the focal contexts here on the basis of their economic, social and cultural differences.

Table 1.
Online statistics as of 2014
Percentage of Population using Internet1Percentage of Population using Social Media2Leading Social Media2 (% Share)3Hours Spent on Internet per Day3Hours Spent on Social Media per Day3
South Korea92.4%30%Kakao Talk (39%)
Thailand29.7%49%Facebook (19%)
USA87%67%Facebook (42%)
World Averagen/an/an/a4.42.72.4

1 Internet World Stat Website (

2 Statista The Statistics Portal

3 GlobalWebIndex reported on We are Social

Key Terms in this Chapter

Conspicuous Consumption: A consumption behavior by which people display wealth through the acquisition of luxurious goods.

Individualism: The degree to which people in a society emphasize independence and a concept of self rather than of the group.

Electronic Word-of-Mouth: An online consumer-to-consumer communications regarding a product or service.

Social Media Intensity: The extent to which a person is actively engaged in social networking activities.

Pragmatism: A cultural value that is long-term oriented, focusing on linking past to the present and the future.

Masculinity: A cultural value that is achievement-oriented and highly competitive.

Indulgence: A cultural dimension dealing with the extent to which people are more prone to impulses rather than rationalization.

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