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Multihoming behavior of users in social networking web sites: a theoretical model

Monika Mital (XLRI, Jamshedpur, India)
Sumit Sarkar (XLRI, Jamshedpur, India)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Publication date: 15 November 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the multihoming behavior of users on social networking web sites in the absence or the presence of product differentiation.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is to build a theoretical model to explain the multihoming behavior of users on social networking web sites.

Findings

Under multihoming without product differentiation, all members of the smaller network multihome to the bigger network and the social networking web site with the bigger network size benefits from multihoming. Under multihoming with product differentiation, when the smaller network differentiates its product from the bigger network, then all members of the bigger network will multihome to the smaller network. Welfare is higher for both sided multihoming and both sided multihoming will happen only when the social networking web sites are differentiated in terms of features.

Research limitations/implications

The model is a theoretical model and will need to be tested empirically.

Practical implications

The results of the model indicate that multihoming results in increased utility for the users of social networking web sites when the two web sites are differentiated in terms of features.

Originality/value

From the literature available in the public domain, the paper has not found any existing theoretical model to explain multihoming behavior of users on social networking web sites. The paper fulfils this objective.

Keywords

Citation

Mital, M. and Sarkar, S. (2011), "Multihoming behavior of users in social networking web sites: a theoretical model", Information Technology & People, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 378-392. https://doi.org/10.1108/09593841111182250

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited