Built upon the push–pull–mooring framework, this study explores the factors that affect user switching from blog to microblogging. Low social presence is posited to form the push effect of blog, whereas larger referent network size and relative ease of use work together to shape the pull effect of newly emerging microblogging. Furthermore, adopting the status quo bias theory and habit literature as theoretical lens, affective commitment, switching costs and habit are regarded as important sources of inertia. Inertia is presumed to play a key role in mooring effects because it negatively affects switching intention and attenuates the main effects of pull and push factors. More importantly, the effects of affective commitment, switching costs and habit on switching intention are fully mediated through inertia.
An empirical study of 239 users who use blog and microblogging services concurrently was conducted in China.
Our findings indicate that low social presence pushes bloggers away, whereas relative ease of use pulls them to the microblogging. Affective commitment, switching costs and habit are important sources of inertia. In the context of this study, inertia fully mediates the relationship between habit and switching intention, and only partially mediates the effect of affective commitment and switching costs on switching intention. Furthermore, inertia negatively moderates the relationships between social presence, relative ease of use and switching intention.
This study expands our understanding of online service switching mechanism, and identified key factors in IT switching, such as social presence, affective commitment and inertia. We believe that these mechanisms and key factors are not necessarily limited to online services, but are largely applicable to other contexts in which people interact with technology. This study builds a useful foundation for future research.
This work is supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71871083, 71801069).
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