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Love Internet, love online content: Predicting Internet affinity with information gratification and social gratifications

Pan Ji (Department of Social Science and Humanities, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai, China)
W. Wayne Fu (Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 9 August 2013

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how information and social gratifications sought by Internet users affect their affinity for the Internet or for particular types of online content.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was administered in Singapore to collect data. A correlation analysis, a paired‐sample t test, and hierarchical regression analyses are conducted to address the research questions and hypotheses.

Findings

Affinity for the Internet and affinity for particular types of online content are correlated and distinct. Both relate positively to social gratifications. The passive social gratification of Internet access and the active pursuit of interactions exert similar impact on both types of affinity. Information affects neither after social gratifications are controlled.

Practical implications

Constant access to online contacts or quality online interaction may facilitate social gratifications, thereby boosting user affinity for the Internet or for particular types of online content. Online information should be presented interactively to attract and retain users. The selection of online content and applications should also be made easier to cultivate a loyal user market.

Originality/value

This study contributes to U&G theory by adapting a television‐based proposition to cyberspace, and examining the attitudinal effect of online social gratifications involving different levels of user activity.

Keywords

Citation

Ji, P. and Wayne Fu, W. (2013), "Love Internet, love online content: Predicting Internet affinity with information gratification and social gratifications", Internet Research, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 396-413. https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-08-2012-0155

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited