Motivations for Social Internet Use
Australian & New Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC) Conference
Faculty of Business and Public Management
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
Studies on general Internet use indicate that Internet use for social purposes in an increasing phenomenon (Papacharissi and Rubin, 2000; Joines, Scherer and Scheufele, 2003). However, to date there has been no study on the motivations for social Internet use and the way in which they differ based on user characteristics (such as demographics, psychographics and usage levels). This paper identifies different social uses and gratifications on the Internet. The results of a factor analysis indicates that exchanging information was the most salient motivation for social Internet use, whilst passing time, being entertained and performing altruistic actions were also significant motivators for social Internet use. These findings raise questions as to what marketers should and can do to cater their online products and services in such a way as to satisfy these social motivations. Furthermore this study also identifies individual differences in the importance of these social uses and gratifications by demonstrating that that motivations for social Internet use differed depending on the user characteristics of the sample. This finding is of particular value to marketers as it reveals that some motivations are more relevant for particular target markets.