Understanding Users’ Continuance of Facebook: An Integrated Model with the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology, Expectation Disconfirmation Model, and Flow Theory

Understanding Users’ Continuance of Facebook: An Integrated Model with the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology, Expectation Disconfirmation Model, and Flow Theory

Chia-Lin Hsu (National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan) and Cou-Chen Wu (National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4022-1.ch005
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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to develop an integrated model designed to examine users’ continuance of Facebook based on the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT), the expectation disconfirmation model (EDM), and flow theory. Empirical data collected from 482 users who have experience with Facebook are subjected to structural equation modeling based on the proposed research model. Results show that users’ continuance intention of Facebook is determined by social influence, performance expectancy, effort expectancy, flow experience, and satisfaction. Satisfaction is significantly affected by flow experience and disconfirmation. Results also suggest that effort expectancy is positively related to flow experience. Based on the findings, managerial implications are discussed in this paper and directions for future research are also highlighted.
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Background

Social networking websites are a type of online application that has grown rapidly in prevalence and popularity over the last few years (Pempek, Yermolayeva, & Calvert, 2009). Social networking websites, such as Facebook, are a member-based Internet communities which allow participants to post profile information, such as usernames and photographs, and to interact with others in innovative ways, such as sending public or private online messages or sharing photos online (Pempek et al., 2009). Moreover, Facebook members may use the site to contact people they already know offline or to meet new people (Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007). Facebook members can also join virtual groups based on common interests, learn each others’ hobbies, interests, and musical preference, and check romantic relationship statuses through these profiles (Ellison et al., 2007). In addition, Facebook also offers many online games, such as Happy Farm, Restaurant City, Pet Society, Cafe World, and Mystical Fishbowl and so on. The rich entertainment functions provided by Facebook have resulted in heavy user immersion, and especially because its services are mostly free, it makes them affordable and attractive.

Facebook is estimated to have more than 500 million users (Facebook, 2011). As a convenient tool for Internet communication, Facebook has become an essential part of Internet users’ lives. A number of previous studies have examined patterns of college students’ use of Facebook. Such research has focused on different academic interests, including the characteristics of profile elements (Park, Kee, & Valenzuela, 2009; Raacke & Bonds-Raacke, 2008), identity presentation (Stutzman, 2006), surveillance and privacy concerns (Gross & Acquisti, 2005; Peluchette & Karl, 2008), social capital (Ellison et al., 2007) and social grooming (Tufekci, 2008), social well-being (Valkenburg, Peter, & Schouten, 2006), relationship marketing strategies for the Facebook generation (Meadows-Klue, 2008), and students’ perceptions of instructor self-disclosure via Facebook (Mazer, Murphy, & Simonds, 2007). While some studies (e.g., Gross & Acquisti, 2005) have indicated negative outcomes of Facebook use, such as stalking and identity theft, others (e.g., Donath & Boyd, 2004; Ellison et al., 2007; Wellman, Haase, Witte, & Hampton, 2001) have shown how Facebook can generate positive social outcomes, such as enhanced social capital and collaboration.

Much of the current researches on Facebook have primarily focused on connecting and reconnecting people, as well as addressing privacy and self-disclosure concerns. Relatively little attention has been paid to elucidating the factors that lead to users’ motives for continuance of Facebook use. Accordingly, this study used an integrated model with the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT), the expectation disconfirmation model (EDM), and the flow theory, in an attempt to answer the question posed previously.

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