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Predicting social networking sites continuance intention through alternative services

Christopher Sibona (Cameron School of Business, University of North Carolina Wilmington, North Carolina, USA)
Jeff Cummings (Information Systems and Operation Management, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA)
Judy Scott (Department of Information Systems, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Social networking sites (SNSs) continue to grow in popularity with competition in the market growing as well. The purpose of this paper is to examine three research questions to determine how competition within the SNS area may affect the continuance intention on the incumbent SNS, Facebook. The first question examines the relationship between having an account on one of the four different SNSs and the impact on continuance intention. The second question examines attitudes toward specific alternatives and continuance intention on the incumbent SNS. The third question takes a broader examination of general attitudes about alternative attractiveness and attitude toward switching to predict continuance intention. A post hoc analysis was conducted to further understand the impact of specific SNS alternative attitudes on general attitudes.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a survey of 918 users, this research examines the three questions using various methods including ANCOVA to examine question 1 and multiple structural equation models to examine questions 2, 3 and the post hoc analysis.

Findings

The analysis of the models suggests that both alternative attractiveness and attitude toward switching have the greatest impact on the continuance intention of the incumbent site. Specific sites were found to be complements or substitutes for the incumbent. The viewing of the specific alternative site as an alternative to Facebook had a negative impact on continuance intention. The general model of alternative attractiveness and attitude toward switching explained a moderate to substantial amount of continuance intention.

Originality/value

Although use and abandonment of SNSs have been examined extensively, minimal attention has been given to the impact that alternative SNSs have on continuance intentions of a user’s primary SNS.

Keywords

Citation

Sibona, C., Cummings, J. and Scott, J. (2017), "Predicting social networking sites continuance intention through alternative services", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 117 No. 6, pp. 1127-1144. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-04-2016-0153

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited