Information & Management

Information & Management 47 (2010) 150–157 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Information & Management journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/loc...
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Information & Management 47 (2010) 150–157

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Information & Management journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/im

The influence of extro/introversion on the intention to pay for social networking sites Hsi-Peng Lu a, Kuo-Lun Hsiao b,* a b

Department of Information Management, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC Department of Information Management, Shu-Te University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, ROC

A R T I C L E I N F O

A B S T R A C T

Article history: Received 19 July 2008 Received in revised form 13 March 2009 Accepted 22 December 2009 Available online 18 January 2010

Although social networking sites (SNSs) have attracted increased attention and members in recent years, there has been little research on it: particularly on how a users’ extroversion or introversion can affect their intention to pay for these services and what other factors might influence them. We therefore proposed and tested a model that measured the users’ value and satisfaction perspectives by examining the influence of these factors in an empirical survey of 288 SNS members. At the same time, the differences due to their psychological state were explored. The causal model was validated using PLSGraph 3.0; six out of eight study hypotheses were supported. The results indicated that perceived value significantly influenced the intention to pay SNS subscription fees while satisfaction did not. Moreover, extroverts thought more highly of the social value of the SNS, while introverts placed more importance on its emotional and price value. The implications of these findings are discussed. Crown Copyright ß 2010 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Social networking sites (SNSs) Perceived value Satisfaction Extroversion and introversion Intention to pay

1. Introduction Online social networking sites (SNSs) and virtual communities have been growing rapidly in recent years. They are a new and effective web service for human communication and sharing information with others. According to the estimates of eMarketer in 2009, 79.7 million people, 40% of US Internet users, will have created at least one content on social networks per month in 2009, either through updating a profile or communicating publicly. For SNS managers, more active members can result in more revenue, such as advertising and subscription fees. Spending on social networking advertising is expected to reach US $1420 million by 2011, and grow to US $2.4 billion by 2013. Although social networking sites continuously provide new user services, such as blogs, photos, music, and videos, in the hope of increasing their users’ intention to update their content on these services or pay for them, many members are still reluctant to pay for subscription fees, and SNSs so far lack a viable revenue model. Therefore, factors influencing users’ intention to pay for the services merited our investigation.

* Corresponding author at: No. 59, Hengshan Rd., Yanchao Township, Kaohsiung County 824, Taiwan, ROC. Tel.: +886 7 6158000x3012; fax: +886 7 6158000x3099. E-mail address: [email protected] (K.-L. Hsiao).

Recently, a few studies have explored the motivation for paying for Internet services [7,13]. Based on such studies, the major motivation for paying for digital products or services were user perceived value and satisfaction. Similarly, before making a decision to pay for a subscription, the members of an SNS considered their past experiences and compared what they received with what they paid to the SNS. Consequently, one of our research purposes was to investigate the influence of these two factors on intention to pay for an SNS subscription. In addition, people with different personality types may have different psychological needs for communication and interaction; this is particularly true of the differences between extroverted and introverted types [5]. Prior research has found that extroverts and introverts had different communication preferences and that this affects behavior on the Internet. Moreover, personalities influence users’ purchasing decisions [8]. For instance, extroverted people are more likely to be influenced by their peers when making a purchasing decision in a virtual environment [1]. A recent study also found that extroverts tended to belong to more online groups [9]. As a result, for SNS service developers, understanding the values of SNS services that appeal to different personality types can help them design features for a target groups of particular users and personality also. Therefore, we also explored the impact of extroversion/introversion type on perceived value and the intention to pay for an SNS.

0378-7206/$ – see front matter . Crown Copyright ß 2010 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.im.2010.01.003

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Fig. 1. Our research model.

2. Theory and hypotheses To help develop our model, we reviewed the relevant literature. Fig. 1 presents the model and its constructs. Particularly, our study proposed that the degree of extroversion or introversion would moderate the relationships between overall perceived value and its four dimensions. 2.1. Perceived value This has been considered an important factor of purchase intention in past work and has received increasing attention recently [10,14]. Perceived value is the consumer’s overall assessment of the utility of a product or service, determined by a consumer’s perception of what is received and given. It can be enhanced by either increasing benefits of the product/service or by decreasing the expense in purchasing and using it. The ratio of quality to price is a common way of assessing value, which increases as quality increases or price decreases. However, viewing value as a trade-off between quality and price is too simplistic. Prior research suggested several types of value, such as: functional value, social value, emotional value, epistemic value, and conditional value. Any, or all of these may influence consumers’ purchase decision. Sweeney and Soutar proposed a modified model, PERVAL that assumed functional value could be decomposed into quality and price value, and that the epistemic and conditional elements of perceived value were less critical, while specific cases of other types of value could be excluded. Their general value measure included four dimensions of perceived value: emotional value, social value, price/value for money, and performance/quality value. However, Turel et al. considered that this was inadequate, since the prevailing definition of perceived value was as an overall assessment. Accordingly, we treated it as the major perception formed by the dimensions of perceived value and assumed that Sweeney and Soutar’s four components would all have a positive effect on the overall perceived value. Accordingly, we hypothesized: H1. Perceived emotional value, social value, price/value for money, and performance/quality value will have positive effects on the overall perceived value of web services. Recently, a few studies demonstrated that perceived value positively affected customers’ repurchase or adoption intention

[11]. Furthermore, researchers have shown that perceived value was a better predictor of using or adopting IS that were not free of charge. For instance, Kim et al. found that perceived value was positively correlated with the intention to adopt the mobile Internet on cell phones, and that it could explain more of the variance of adoption intention than usefulness and ease of use. Turel et al. also showed that perceived value significantly affected the intention to use short messaging services. Thus, we proposed the following hypothesis: H2. Overall perceived value will have positive effects on the intention to pay for the subscription to an SNS. 2.2. Extroverts and introverts The impact of extroversion or introversion on users’ online behavior was considered an important issue in some past research. Extroverted individuals are primarily oriented to social settings, focusing their energy on people and objects, but introverts are more interested in an internal environment, preferring to listen and reflect. Cunningham et al. [3] suggested that extroverts would have different preferences for website design than introverts: extroverts would enjoy pictures of people and prominent contact information while introverts are more likely to be attracted by pictures of nature and solitude and less prominent contact information. In recent years, more and more studies have been exploring the relationship between extrovert/introvert types and their behavior on social network sites. For example, Ross et al. found that highly extroverted people joined more virtual groups than introverts, In addition, Ebeling-Witte et al. [4] found that extroverts are more likely to use the Internet for social interaction. Hence, they may place more emphasis on the social value of SNS services. Accordingly, we hypothesized: H3a. Social value will positively influence the overall perceived value more strongly for extroverts than introverts. Furthermore, Ross et al. demonstrated that people with a higher shyness score are likely to use the Internet to relieve feelings of loneliness and depression, and to avoid, instead of attend to, stressful matters. Shyness has a strong positive relation with introversion. Therefore, introverts may have a stronger preference

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for the emotional value of SNS services. Thus, we posed the hypothesis:

different attitudes toward the world, they could be expected to influence an individual’s perceived value and payment behaviors.

H3b. Emotional value will positively influence the overall perceived value more strongly for introverts than extroverts.

3.1. Subjects

Goby showed that more introverts choose online media to apply for casual work, such as emailing a resume to an organization, and to interact with friends. Moreover, they seem to use the Internet as a compensatory tool, because introverts who feel a need to express themselves may do so with less diffidence on the Internet. Consequently, they may care about the performance or value of SNS services more.

VIP members of iPartment (www.i-part.com.tw), who pay subscription fees for services, were the population for our study. iPartment is the most popular avatar SNS in Taiwan and China. Different from most web service providers, the profits of iPartment come mainly from subscription fees and sales of virtual items, rather than from advertising. As of March 2008, iParment had attracted over 1.5 million members in Taiwan and over 10 million members in China. iPartment provides personal homepages for its users, where they can maintain and update their bulletin boards, diaries, photos, etc. Moreover, users of iPartment can have their own avatars and iPartments, which are virtual apartments included on their personal homepage. Various items, such as furniture, clothes, and distinctive decoration functions, are provided by the company for its members. All decorative items can be purchased using real money or credit cards in the iPartment shop. Items also can be given to other users as gifts. Other services in iPartment include planting flowers in virtual gardens and raising pets. People need to water the flowers and feed the pets regularly or the flowers will be withered and the pets may be sick. Pets’ food is available at the iPartment shop. People can purchase clothes or decorations for their pets also.

H3c. Performance/quality value will positively influence the overall perceived value more strongly for introverts than extroverts. With the development of SNS services, providers began to provide some virtual items, such as clothes and decoration which required payment. Users can buy these virtual items to decorate their virtual personal rooms or accessorize their avatars. Extroverted and introverted people have different preferences in real clothing and decoration. Extroverts tend to wear more decorative but more expensive clothing, while introverts prefer practical, comfortable clothes, while introverts tend to decorate less and buy practical virtual items online. Thus, we proposed: H3d. Price/value for money will positively influence the overall perceived value more strongly for introverts than extroverts. To summarize, we believed that the different preferences of extroverts and introverts in real lives influences their behavior and values on the Internet. 2.3. Satisfaction Satisfaction has potential influence on consumer behavioral intentions and thus for customer retention [2]. A customers’ feeling of satisfaction may result from a cognitive process of evaluating the service received against one or more comparison standards, such as expectation and value. If the value of a product/service is perceived as being lower than its cost, the customer will probably be dissatisfied, leading to less intention to purchase or continue to pay for services. Therefore, customers’ satisfaction is considered a strong predictor for repurchase intention [12]. Therefore, we proposed: H4. Overall perceived value will have a positive effect on overall satisfaction. H5. Overall satisfaction will have a positive effect on the intention to pay for the subscription to an SNS. 2.4. Control variables To evaluate our research model, additional control variables were added: gender, age, and personal income. The latter significantly affected maintenance expenditure while individuals of different age and gender may have different perceptions of subscription to an SNS. Thus, these variables were expected to influence user intention. 3. Method We conducted an online survey to investigate the role of psychological factors in intention to pay for SNS services. Are there differences in perceived value between extroverts and introverts? Do the differences in perceived value have an effect on people’s intention to pay for services? Since personality traits result in

3.2. Research instrument The questionnaire consisted of two parts. The first was a Chinese version of the Myers, Briggs, Type Indicator MBTI (Form G), certified by (Consulting Psychologists Press) CPP Inc. and used to test individual personality; it contains 94 forced-choice items. According to their responses, people were scored in four pairs psychological vectors: Extroversion versus Introversion, Sensing versus iNtution, Thinking versus Feeling and Judging versus Perceiving. The MBTI, though not believed to be a true indicator by many psychologists, is thought by many businesses to explain an individual’s behavior in various decision settings. It focuses on how individuals process information. Fortune 100 companies often rely on MBTI to help them manage common workforce development applications. The second part of the questionnaire involved a 16-item measure of perceived value, a 2-item measure of the intention to repurchase and a 4-item measure of overall satisfaction with the services. The items were adapted or modified from past research papers and were examined by two experts in SNS to make sure that the items fit the context of our study. The measure of perceived value was modified from the items of Sweeney and Soutar. The 2item measure of intention was adapted from the items of Venkatesh and Davis [15]. Similarly, the four items measuring overall satisfaction were adapted from Cronin et al. All 22 items were measured on a five-point Likert scale, ranging from ‘‘disagree strongly’’ (1) to ‘‘agree strongly’’ (5). The appendix presents a list of the items. The four dimensions of perceived value were described as follows: 1. Emotional value: the utility derived from the feelings or affective states that are generated by the product/service of iPartment. 2. Social value: the utility derived from the product/service of iPartment in enhancing social self-concept. 3. Price/value for money: the utility derived from the service of iPartment due to the reduction of its perceived short-term and long-term costs.

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Table 1 Correlations between extroversion–introversion and functions of the SNS. SNS function

Avatar decoration

Room decoration

Raising pets

Planting flowers

Diary

Photo album

Guest book

Giving gifts

Visiting friends

Inviting friends

Browsing

Pearson correlation Sig. (1-tailed) N

0.134* 0.022 217

0.173** 0.004 217

0.026 0.347 217

0.063 0.174 217

0.061 0.179 217

0.161** 0.008 217

0.121* 0.034 217

0.052 0.218 217

0.104 0.059 217

0.112* 0.046 217

0.154* 0.010 217

E–I: extroversion–introversion. * Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (1-tailed). ** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed).

4. Performance/quality value: the utility derived from the perceived quality and expected performance of the product/service of iPartment. A pre-test was conducted by interviewing five IS researchers. Feedback was obtained about the content, the format of the scales, and question ambiguity. The items for each construct were revised according to this feedback, and the final list of items is shown in Appendix A. 3.3. Sample for survey First, in order to confirm that extroverts and introverts have difference preferences for SNS services, an online survey which included the MBTI test was undertaken to test the correlation between extroversion/introversion personalities and iPartment services. A sample of 1200 was obtained by using the ‘‘random visit’’ function provided by the iPartment website. According to the selection mechanism of this function, VIP members had a higher probability of being visited, which was one of the benefits provided by iPartment: it can help them be known to more members. A hyperlink of our online questionnaire was posted on selected users’ guest books, and these users were invited to participate in our study. In order to increase the response rate, respondents were given an incentive to win one MP3 player or five NT$100 coupons for virtual items in iPartment. A, total of 223 responses were received, resulting in a response rate of 18.6%. Of these responses, 6 were incomplete or repeated. Thus, 217 people were used to conduct a Pearson correlation test. The results in Table 1 show that extroversion/introversion personality and the services of decoration on avatars/virtual rooms, guest books, photo albums, invitation for visiting, and browsing others’ articles had significant correlations, which confirmed the assumption of our study. Also, the other survey which contained an MBTI test and 22 items of the constructs of the model was undertaken from 1 April 2008 to 30 April 2008 to collect data for testing our hypotheses. The same sampling method was adopted as before, and a sample of 1600 potential respondents was obtained. A total of 353 responses were received for a response rate of 22.1%. Of the responses, 10 questionnaires were incomplete or repeated, and 55 respondents were unpaid members. Thus, 288 VIP members were selected for this part of the study. The 55 respondents were excluded because compared with paid members, unpaid members were less active members and may have different perceptions and less intention to pay and also, due to their small number, the power of the statistic test would be weak if they were tested individually. 3.4. Analysis A two-stage approach was adopted to test the model. First, tests for convergent and discriminant validity were made to examine the construct validity. Second, the theoretical model was tested by using PLS-Graph Version 3.00. This was chosen because it allowed latent constructs to be modeled either as formative or reflective

indicators (as was the case with our data) and it applies to smallsample study. For handing the second order factor, a repeated indicator approach was used. The second order perceived value factor was measured by the indicators of all the first-order perceived value factors. 4. Results Among the 288 respondents, 28% were male. Most were under the age of thirty (87%). Modal personal income per month was under NT$16,000 (48%). The majority of respondents (56%) had college or bachelor’s degrees. About 37% of the respondents were students, and 35% were office worker. A majority of respondents (56%) used their own iPartment for an average of 1–3 h per day. Table 2 shows average item scores and standard deviations of constructs. The perceived emotional value and performance/ quality value scale had the highest and second highest score, respectively. This suggested that users generally agreed that using iPartment made them feel relaxed and gave them pleasure, and that iPartment offered good product/service quality. To estimate scale reliabilities, Cronbach’s alpha and average variance extracted (AVE) for each construct were computed. As shown in Table 2, Cronbach’s alpha ranged from 0.91 to 0.95 and AVEs ranged from 0.77 to 0.95; these all exceeded the recommended score of 0.7 and 0.5, respectively, indicating adequate reliability. To determine item-construct loadings, a factor analysis was conducted using SPSS. The results of principle component analysis are shown in Table 3. All loadings were larger than 0.6, demonstrating an adequate convergent and discriminant validity. Additional assessment of discriminant validity was verified by looking at the square root of the AVE. The results in Table 4 confirmed the discriminant validity: the AVE for each construct (on the diagonal) exceeded the squared correlations (below the diagonal) between any pair of distinct constructs. The smallest AVE from the constructs (0.77) was substantially greater than the largest squared correlation between constructs (0.55). This reaffirmed the discriminant validity of the constructs. The Bootstrap resembling procedure was performed to derive tstatistics for the path coefficients. Figs. 2–4 show the results of the sign and significance of the path coefficients, the t-values, the R2 values, and the difference test of the path coefficients. The R2 values indicated how well the antecedents explained an endogenous variable. For all respondents, the model explained 70% and 40% of the variance in overall satisfaction and repurchase Table 2 Analysis of construct reliability. Construct

Mean

Standard deviation

Cronbach’s alpha

AVE

Emotional value Social value Price/value for money Performance/quality value Overall satisfaction Intention to pay

4.15 3.89 3.44 4.06 4.10 3.83

0.65 0.81 0.84 0.70 0.68 0.81

0.93 0.91 0.93 0.91 0.92 0.95

0.77 0.79 0.83 0.85 0.81 0.95

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154 Table 3 Results of principle component analysis. Item

Factor analysis

PEV4 PEV2 PEV1 PEV5 PEV3 PVFM4 PVFM1 PVFM3 PVFM2 PSV3 PSV4 PSV2 PSV1 SAT2 SAT4 SAT3 SAT1 PQV2 PQV3 PQV1 IN2 IN1

Emotional value

Price/value for money

Social value

Satisfaction

Performance/quality value

Intention

0.809 0.800 0.798 0.766 0.725 0.126 0.128 0.185 0.235 0.226 0.204 0.269 0.391 0.388 0.404 0.364 0.295 0.262 0.262 0.267 0.115 0.177

0.140 0.187 0.157 0.159 0.132 0.869 0.841 0.805 0.786 0.079 0.129 0.219 0.209 0.224 0.235 0.249 0.253 0.262 0.196 0.427 0.360 0.383

0.213 0.259 0.179 0.262 0.231 0.148 0.109 0.157 0.177 0.855 0.847 0.811 0.643 0.242 0.318 0.303 0.252 0.176 0.242 0.184 0.140 0.108

0.210 0.073 0.208 0.313 0.296 0.150 0.170 0.204 0.098 0.155 0.225 0.142 0.224 0.726 0.680 0.662 0.597 0.223 0.291 0.216 0.200 0.175

0.203 0.162 0.189 0.111 0.157 0.100 0.199 0.217 0.182 0.179 0.112 0.125 0.146 0.232 0.231 0.256 0.306 0.800 0.769 0.669 0.233 0.210

0.146 0.092 0.013 0.094 0.163 0.127 0.173 0.198 0.267 0.101 0.050 0.050 0.167 0.168 0.162 0.122 0.226 0.181 0.215 0.178 0.830 0.824

PEV: perceived emotional value; PSV: perceived social value; PVFM: perceived price/value for money; PQV: perceived performance/quality value; PV: overall perceived value; SAT: overall satisfaction; IN: intention to pay. Table 4 Squared correlations and average variance extracted for the first-order constructs.

SAT IN PVFM PEV PSV PQV

SAT

IN

PVFM

PEV

PSV

PQV

0.812 0.321 0.347 0.553 0.447 0.531

0.95 0.421 0.176 0.154 0.364

0.825 0.223 0.209 0.391

0.771 0.399 0.370

0.787 0.298

0.852

intention, respectively. In terms of hypotheses, perceived value significantly affected overall satisfaction and intention to repurchase. Within the extroverts and introverts sub-sample, perceived value had significant impact on overall satisfaction and repurchase intention also. H2 and H4 were thus supported. However, the effect of overall satisfaction on the intention was not significant within the combined dataset and sub-samples. Thus, H5 was not supported. In addition, none of the three control variables significantly influenced members’ intention, which was contrary to our hypothesis. Surprisingly, only 32% of the variance on

extroverts’ intention was explained while 49% of the variance on introverts’ intention was explained. As predicted in H1, among the combined dataset and subsamples, PEV, PSV, PQV and PVFM were positively associated with the overall perceived value. Therefore, H1 was supported. Within the extrovert sub-sample, perceived emotional value and perceived social value had the strongest and the second strongest positive association with the overall perceived value, respectively. Within the introvert sub-sample, the first two strong predictors of overall perceived value were perceived emotional value and perceived price/value for money. H3 on the differences between introverts’ and extroverts’ perceived value was tested by statistically comparing corresponding path coefficients in the structural models. A procedure for the statistical comparison was used to develop a multi-group analysis, as implemented in past research [6]. According to the results shown in Table 5, introverts’ PEV and PVFM had stronger impacts on their overall perceived value while extroverts’ PSV had more influence on their overall perceived value. This showed that the impact of the three dimensions of perceived value on the overall perceived value

Fig. 2. Research model for combined dataset.

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Fig. 3. Research model for extroverts.

Fig. 4. Research model for introverts.

differed because of personality. Hence, H3a, H3b and H3d were supported. However, the test result of H3c was not significant and thus the influence of PQV on overall perceived value was not statistically different between introverts and extroverts. The results are shown in Table 6. 5. Discussion The perceived value of web services was an important predictor of users’ overall satisfaction and behavioral intent. People might be Table 5 Comparison of corresponding path coefficients.

PEV ! PV PSV ! PV PQV ! PV PVFM ! PV Number

Extrovert

Introvert

Difference

Beta

Beta

t-Value

Result

0.359 0.297 0.261 0.295 136

0.391 0.264 0.265 0.320 152

1.98** 1.74* 0.17 1.69*

I>E E>I ns. I>E

PEV: perceived emotional value; PSV: perceived social value; PVFM: perceived price/value for money; PQV: perceived performance/quality value; PV: overall perceived value. ns. non-significant. * Significant at the 0.05 level; t-value (1-tailed) = 1.65. ** Significant at the 0.025 level; t-value (1-tailed) = 1.96.

more likely to pay for a subscription if provided with a higher value of web service. Additionally, overall satisfaction would be increased with a raise in perceived value. However, we found that overall satisfaction did not have a significant effect on intention. Maybe satisfaction is both market- and contextsensitive. In the web service context, various services are provided, and most of them are free. Merely increasing customer satisfaction may not lead to the intention to pay for a subscription. Customers Table 6 Summary of testing results. Hypothesis

Relationship

Result

H1

PSV ! PV PEV ! PV PQV ! PV PVFM ! PV PV ! SAT PV ! IN SAT ! IN PSV ! PV PEV ! PV PQV ! PV PVFM ! PV

Supported Supported Supported Supported Supported Supported Not supported Supported Supported Not supported Supported

H2 H4 H5 H3a H3b H3c H3d

Extrovert > Introvert Introvert > Extrovert Introvert > Extrovert Introvert > Extrovert

PEV: perceived emotional value; PSV: perceived social value; PVFM: perceived price/value for money; PQV: perceived performance/quality value; PV: overall perceived value; SAT: overall satisfaction; IN: intention to pay.

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will not risk effort and money in web services unless the value is assured. Therefore, value of the service is a more important than satisfaction. For all respondents, the perceived emotional value, social value, price/value for money, and performance/quality value had strong effects on the perceived value of web services. Emotional value had the strongest indirect effect (0.375  0.499 = 0.187) on intention to pay for a subscription. This demonstrated that people would be more willing to pay for web services if using them could generate positive feelings, such as pleasure or relaxation. In addition, the results revealed that users considered not only the price/value for money but also its quality and social value. It showed that social value was an important factor of the intention to pay for a subscription to an SNS. Although past research found that our control variables (gender, age, and personal income) would influence users’ behavior on websites, our study did not find they had an effect on payment intention. Our study showed that social value was a more important factor for extroverts than for introverts, while extroverts had more intention to pay for web services if the services enhanced their social self-concept. SNSs can apparently satisfy extroverts’ need to interact with people and help them gain energy from the outside world. Compared to extroverts, introverts put more emphasis on the price/value for money and emotional value. This implied that introverts were more cost-sensitive about virtual items and cared more about the pleasure that web services provided them. Contrary to hypothesis 3c, the influence of performance/quality value on introverts’ and extroverts’ intention was not significantly different, which showed that introverts’ and extroverts’ concerns about the performance/quality of SNS services were approximately the same. Furthermore, the antecedents of a subscription intention explained much more variance of the intention for introverts (49% versus 32%) perhaps because introverts’ overall perceived value had a more significant effect on their intention. These results are consistent with the prior correlation test, which demonstrated that extroversion had a positive relation with the services of decoration on avatars and virtual rooms, guest books, photo albums, invitation for visiting and browsing others’ articles. This implied that extroverts are more willing to pay for the decorations and to use them to adorn their avatars and virtual rooms so as to encourage others to interact with them. Extroverts care less about the price value of the items and care more about the interaction with others. In addition, they tend to use the photo albums service, which has a limited storage capacity for unpaid members and requires payment to increase the capacity for storage: they want to disclose their photos to others. For online self-disclosure, they are also more willing to pay for VIP services. 6. Implications 6.1. Implications for academic researchers Our study provided an insight into factors contributing to intention to pay for a subscription to the SNS. It also showed that perceived value was a key factor in determining a customer’s intention to pay. 6.2. Implications for SNS providers The overall perceived value accounts for more than 30% of the variation in payment intention; also, perceived emotional value, social value, price/value for money and quality/performance value all significantly affect overall perceive value. Thus, SNS providers should not only enhance their social functions but also develop

playful functions to help relax users and thus maintain service quality and price value. For extroverts, SNS providers could design virtual items or social functions which encouraged social interactions, such as virtual ornamental furniture, clothing or beautiful layouts of personal web space. To increase their social interaction, extroverts would be willing to pay more for the items or services. For introverts, SNS providers should develop enjoyable services to increase users’ intention to pay for them. They also tend to feel more comfortable and relaxed on the Internet so that they would emphasize more on the emotional value of the SNS. Enjoyable services (e.g., web games on the SNS) could make them more cheerful and since introverts care more about price value, providers should hold promotions of virtual items for them, to increase their intention to pay. Popular SNSs, such as Facebook or MySpace, are free or funded by advertising, but the revenue model of the SNS we studied was different and most of the members were paying for their service. Most o SNS make profits only from advertising at present and they are eagerly seeking for other sources of revenue. Our study showed that increasing the perceived value of an SNS could increase users’ intention to pay a subscription for additional services if they seemed valuable. Our findings indicated that the perceived value of introverted members had more significant influence on their payment intention. Thus, they could be the targeted group for subscription promotion 7. Limitations This study had, of course, some limitations. First, it focuses exclusively on the effect of perceived value and satisfaction on the intention of SNS members to pay for a subscription. Other relational constructs could affect the intention to pay. Second, the findings were acquired from a single study that was targeted to a specific user group, iPartment users. Caution must be taken when generalizing these results to other types of services or contexts. Third, our study only focused on VIP members because the number of responses from non-VIP members was small. Fourth, our study was cross-sectional. Finally, the sample may have been biased since all the respondents participated voluntarily. Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank the Editor, Professor Sibley, and three anonymous reviewers for their excellent comments and suggestions. The authors are also thankful to Dr. Robert Good for his editorial assistance. This study was supported financially by the National Science Council of the Republic of China under Contract Number NSC 97-2410-H-011-010-MY2. Appendix A. List of items by construct Perceived emotional value (PEV) PEV1 iPartment services are ones that I enjoy. PEV2 iPartment services make me want to use them. PEV3 iPartment services are ones that I feel relaxed about using. PEV4 iPartment services make me feel good. PEV5 iPartment services give me pleasure. Perceived social value (PSV) PSV1 The use of iPartment services helps me feel acceptable. PSV2 The use of iPartment services improves the way I am perceived. PSV3 The fact I use iPartment services makes a good impression on the friends I meet on the Internet. PSV4 The use of iPartment services gives me social approval. Perceived price/value for money (PVFM) PVFM1 iPartment services are reasonably priced. PVFM2 iPartment services offer value for money. PVFM3 The quality of iPartment services is good relative to the price. PVFM4 iPartment services are economical.

H.-P. Lu, K.-L. Hsiao / Information & Management 47 (2010) 150–157 Perceived performance/quality value (PQV) PQV1 iPartment services have consistent quality. PQV2 iPartment services are well designed. PQV3 iPartment services have an acceptable standard of quality. Satisfaction SAT1 SAT2 SAT3 SAT4

(SAT) I am satisfied with the experience of using iPartment. I am pleased with the experience of using iPartment. My decision to use iPartment was a wise one. My feeling with using iPartment was good.

Behavioral intention to pay (IN) IN1 Given that I have access to iPartment services, I intend to regularly pay for them in future. IN2 Given that I have access to iPartment services, I predict that I would regularly pay for them in future.

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Hsi-Peng Lu is Professor of Information Management at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. He received his PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research interests are e-commerce, managerial decision-making and management of information systems. Dr. Lu’s articles have appeared in journals such as Information & Management, Omega, European Journal of Operational Research, Journal of Computer Information Systems, Computers in Human Behavior, Information Systems Management, International Journal of Information Management and International Journal of Technology Management. He also works as a TV host and is a consultant for many organizations in Taiwan.

Kuo-Lun Hsiao is an assistant professor of Information Management at Shu-Te University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. He received MBA and PhD degrees from National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan in 2003 and 2008, respectively. Dr. Hsiao’s articles have appeared in Internet Research and Online Information Reviews. His research interests include electronic commerce, Internet marketing and e-learning.