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How does media richness contribute to customer loyalty to mobile instant messaging?

Fan-Chen Tseng (Department of Multimedia and M-Commerce, Kainan University, Taoyuan, Taiwan)
T.C.E. Cheng (Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong)
Kai Li (Business School, Nankai University, Tianjin, China)
Ching-I Teng (Graduate Institute of Business and Management, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan) (Department of Rehabilitation, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan) (Department of Business and Management, Ming Chi University of Technology, New Taipei City, Taiwan)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 5 June 2017




No studies in the extant literature have explored the role of media richness, i.e., the ability of media to enhance understanding among communication partners in a timely manner, in determining customer loyalty to mobile instant messaging (MIM). Grounded in media richness theory, the purpose of this paper is to examine how media richness influences customer perceived values, consequently contributing to customer loyalty to MIM.


Collecting data by an online survey, the authors apply partial least square procedures for hypothesis testing.


The authors obtain the following findings: multiple cues are positively related to functional value; immediate feedback is positively related to social value; personal focus is positively related to self-expressive value; language variety is positively related to all the above values that lead to user loyalty; and language variety has the strongest effect on user loyalty to MIM.


A first attempt to examine the impact of media richness on user loyalty to MIM, this study provides insights for MIM service providers to make decisions to build loyal user bases.



The authors thank the Editor-in-Chief and two anonymous referees for their many helpful comments on earlier versions of the paper. Cheng was supported in part by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University under the Fung Yiu King – Wing Hang Bank Endowed Professorship in Business Administration. Teng was supported by Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (BMRP644). Li was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (71302017).


Tseng, F.-C., Cheng, T.C.E., Li, K. and Teng, C.-I. (2017), "How does media richness contribute to customer loyalty to mobile instant messaging?", Internet Research, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 520-537.



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