Why participate in an online social network: an empirical analysis

Krasnova, Hanna; Hildebrand, Thomas; Günther, Oliver; Kovrigin, Alexander; Nowobilska, Aneta (June 2008). Why participate in an online social network: an empirical analysis. In: 16th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2008). Galway, Ireland. 09.06.-11.06.2008.

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Despite their enormous success the motivation behind user participation in Online Social Networks is still little understood. This study explores a variety of possible incentives and provides an empirical evaluation of their subjective relevance. The analysis is based on survey data from 129 test subjects. Using Structural Equation Modeling, we identified that the satisfaction of the needs for belongingness and the esteem needs through self-presentation together with peer pressure are the main drivers of participation. The analysis of a sub-sample of active users pointed out the satisfaction of the cognitive needs as an additional participation determinant. Based on these findings, recommendations for online social network providers are made.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Information Systems

UniBE Contributor:

Krasnova, Hanna


000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics


ECIS 2008 Proceedings. Paper 33




Rahel Winkelmann

Date Deposited:

08 May 2014 14:25

Last Modified:

13 Dec 2014 11:06

Related URLs:

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Social Network Analyses & Economic Implications, Online Communities, Motivations, Affect & Emotion, Online Social Network Participation, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Structural Equation Modeling, PLS.





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