Applying Third Place Theory in Mobile Social Media Research: The Physical-Virtual Integration
A mobile social media (MSM) allows an individual to be accessed to virtual space and engaged with other people when consuming a traditional physical third place. Little is known about how to adapt the third place theory to the Web 2.0 era and what opportunities it may bring for IS research. This study reviews third place theory and MSM literature, develops an extended research framework for third place, and proposes its implications for MSM research. The paper suggests that third place should include physical, virtual, and physical-virtual integrated places that have largely changed individuals' behaviour in public domain. Moreover, extending the third place theory to include virtual spaces has several implications for MSM research: 1) incorporating aesthetics to advance the design of MSM; 2) taking on a symbolic action perspective to understand individuals' continuing use of MSM; and 3) utilizing social dynamics to increase the impact of MSM on individuals' social capital accumulation.