The purpose of this article is to outline a conceptual framework on mobile applications that support social interactions among users to warrant commercial viability of such applications.
We build on the social network paradigm to propose an activity-based view on mobile application usage, and theoretically link the pertinent features of mobile social networking applications (MSNAs) to a set of measurement metrics concerning their commercial viability.
The conceptual framework formulated highlights how MSNAs can be systematically designed and deployed to ensure their commercial viability.
A pertinent set of features that support social networking among the users, and their plausible mechanisms in facilitating the commercial viability of MSNAs, are explicated. This facilitates future research endeavours in systematically investigating the emerging form of mobile applications. The limitation lies in a lack of empirical data to validate the formulated propositions, which is beyond the scope of this paper and is directed for future research.
A coherent set of measurement metrics are put forward for practitioners to measure the commercial viability of an MSNA. Also theoretically based insights are derived for how they can better derive commercial values from the emerging form of mobile applications.
Most relevant previous research has focused either on the MSNAs’ technical design aspects or user behavioural issues. This research ties up the themes on technical design, user behaviour and business consideration in formulating a research framework for assessing the commercial viability of MSNAs.
The work described in this paper was supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 71102018), a grant from the Research Grants Council (RGC) Research Scheme sponsored by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong: Project No. 149810 and by the ESSEC Media & Entertainment Chair.
Wei Phang, C., Sutanto, J., Tan, C.-H. and Ondrus, J. (2014), "Mobile social networking application viability: a research framework", International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 321-338. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJAIM-04-2013-0028Download as .RIS
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