Title: A study on the competition in social network services on the theory of Niche: gratification analysis in relationship and information

Authors: Sang-Hee Kweon; Hwa-Yeon Kong; Do-Hyun Jo

Addresses: Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Sungkyunkwan University, 53, Myeongnyun-dong 3-ga, Jongno-gu Seoul, 110-745 Republic of Korea ' Department of Interaction Science, Sungkyunkwan University, 53, Myeongnyun-dong 3-ga, Jongno-gu Seoul, 110-745 Republic of Korea ' Department of Advertising, PR and Film, Hyupsung University, 53, Myeongnyun-dong 3-ga, Jongno-gu Seoul, 110-745 Republic of Korea

Abstract: This study explored individual social media's information search appearing in the evolution of social networking service and to find its niche. This study applied the theory of niche and sought to find the nature of social object of individual social media through competitive relations between media based on niche breadth, niche overlap and niche superiority caused by different services. For this study, a survey was conducted on 291 young people aged over ten, with structured questions. In the survey, gratification factors of six social media (blog, Me2day, Twitter, Facebook, online community, Cyworld) were measured with the scale of seven and the unit of gratification. From the result, individual niche breadth showed empirical difference, and similar social media appeared to have strong niche overlap. Blog had the highest niche breadth of gratification in information acquisition while Facebook, a recent social media, used gratification most widely in two levels of social relations.

Keywords: social media; gratification analysis; niche breadth; niche overlap; niche superiority; social networking service; SNS; Facebook; Twitter; blogs; relationships; information search; theory of niche; young people; Me2day; online community; Cyworld; information acquisition.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2014.062944

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2014 Vol.10 No.3, pp.298 - 318

Published online: 10 Jun 2014 *

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