The effects of personalization on user continuance in social networking sites

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49 Citations (Scopus)


Social networking sites (SNSs) enable user to personalize their contents and functions. This feature has been assumed as causing positive effects on the use of online information services through enhancing user satisfaction. However, unlike other online information services (non-participatory information services), due to the results of personalization in a certain situation, SNS users cannot help using the SNS even though they feel dissatisfaction on using it. SNSs are different from other information services in the sense that they create and sustain their own value based on the number of participating members. In SNSs, personalization, reflected by updates and maintenance of profile pages, results in such participation. This study hypothesizes that personalization influences on the continued use of SNSs through two factors: switching cost (extrinsic factor) and satisfaction (intrinsic factor). Web-based survey was conducted with the samples of 677 SNS users from six universities in the US. In-person interviews were conducted with 25 university students to elicit their thoughts on the SNSs. Quantitative analysis employed by testing the proposed model with five hypotheses through a structural equation modeling (SEM) technique. The transcribed interview data was analyzed following the constant comparative technique. The main findings indicate that, as expected, the personalization increases its switching cost as well as satisfaction, which results in further use of SNSs. These findings suggest that it is necessary to consider both extrinsic and intrinsic factors of user perceptions when adding personalization features on SNSs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-475
Number of pages14
JournalInformation Processing and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Yonsei University Research Grant. The author is grateful for various helps from the graduate students of the Department of Library and Information Science at Yonsei University.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Media Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Library and Information Sciences


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