Social virtual worlds (SVWs) have become increasingly important environments for social interaction, especially for the younger generations. For SVWs to be economically sustainable, attracting new users and retaining the existing ones existing users is a paramount issue. This calls for understanding of the reasons why people engage in social virtual worlds. This study investigates the motives for continuously engagement in SVWs and develops a research model grounded on the decomposed theory of planned behavior. The model is empirically tested with a data collected from Canadian active Habbo goers using PLS. Surprisingly, perceived behavioral control and subjective norm were found more important determinants of continuous use intention than attitude. The results indicated that hedonic motives were the main determinant of attitude. However, altogether only 21.9 % of attitude was explained by utilitarian, hedonic and social outcomes. As a result, the study revealed that rather relying on generic items in measuring attitude and the beliefs regarding the utilitarian and social outcomes, the characteristics of SVW context should be reflected in the operationalisations of the constructs.
Mantymaki, Matti and Merikivi, Jani, "Uncovering the Motives for the Continuous Use of Social Virtual Worlds" (2010). ECIS 2010 Proceedings. 157.