Just being there matters : Investigating the role of sense of presence in Like behaviors from the perspective of symbolic interactionism

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-81
Journal / PublicationInternet Research
Volume29
Issue number1
Online published4 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Purpose - Although user behaviors in social network service (SNS) have been well studied in prior literature, most of these studies focus on those behaviors with relatively deep user engagement such as information disclosure, while the underlying mechanisms that explain users’ shallow engagement behaviors (e.g. Like behavior) have been rarely discussed. To fill this research gap, the purpose of this paper is to propose and empirically test a research model to identify the antecedents of Like behavior. 
Design/methodology/approach - This study identifies the distinctions between post behavior and Like behavior and develops a research model of Like behavior by emphasizing the role of sense of presence from the perspective of symbolic interactionism. The model is tested through a survey with 479 users of WeChat (a popular SNS tool in China). Structural equation modeling, SmartPLS in particular, is used for data analysis. 
Findings - Three value perceptions, namely cognitive value, hedonic value and social value, are found to be positively associated with Like intention, and sense of presence is found to affect Like intention both directly and indirectly via the three value perceptions. 
Research limitations/implications - The research model is tested based on a specific SNS in China, so whether the conclusions can be applied to other research contexts should be further examined in future research. This study identifies the distinctions between post behavior and Like behavior and suggests to view the Like behavior from the perspective of symbolic interactionism. 
Practical implications - The paper outlines ways to effectively promote SNS users’ Like behaviors by enhancing the functions related to three value perceptions, especially by enriching the ways that facilitate interpersonal interactions. 
Originality/value - This paper is one of the first to distinguish Like behavior from post behavior in SNS, propose and empirically test a research model of Like behavior. In particular, this paper strengthens the important role of sense of presence from the perspective of symbolic interactionism which has rarely been investigated in prior studies.

Research Area(s)

  • Like behaviour, Perceived value, Sense of presence, Social network site, Symbolic interactionism, User engagement

Citation Format(s)