Title: How network externality leads to the success of mobile instant messaging business?

Authors: Hae-Ryong Kim; Minsu Park; SeungJae Yun; JaeHwan Kwon

Addresses: Department of Business Administration and Economics, Konkuk University, Glocal Campus, Chungcheongbukdo 380-701, South Korea ' Department of Business Administration and Economics, Konkuk University, Glocal Campus, Chungcheongbukdo 380-701, South Korea ' Division of Business Administration, Department of Marketing, Hanyang Cyber University, Seoul 133-791, South Korea ' Department of Marketing, Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University, One Bear Place #98007, Waco, TX 76798, USA

Abstract: The current research investigates the relationship among the factors influencing the success of mobile instant messaging (MIM) businesses: namely, network externalities, network quality, network intimacy, user satisfaction, and usage intention. The patterns of the data collected in China and South Korea confirmed that the impact of network externalities on MIM user satisfaction is mediated by network quality and network intimacy. That is, although network externalities alone can directly influence customers' usage intentions, greater network externalities can be a more valuable strategic asset for mobile service companies when accompanied by a higher level of network quality and greater intimacy with their customers. These findings suggest that MIM businesses should pay attention to increasing the size of their networks to building and promoting both user-to-user intimacy and perceived quality in these networks.

Keywords: mobile instant messaging; MIM; network externalities; network intimacy; network quality; usage intention; user satisfaction; China; South Korea; perceived quality.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMC.2017.082535

International Journal of Mobile Communications, 2017 Vol.15 No.2, pp.144 - 161

Accepted: 06 May 2016
Published online: 12 Dec 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article