Consumer and provider: roles to understand continued use behavior in virtual communities



The increasing use of virtual communities makes research in this technology vital to understand the dynamics that users establish around them. In this sense, the virtual communities’ literature recognizes that an individual has at least two behaviors in a virtual community: consumer and provider. The present research proposes a conceptual model where continued usage – in the context of virtual communities, specifically of social networks – is conceptualized as a multidimensional construct formed by the continued consumption and the continued information sharing. It also considers that these dimensions are distinguishable from each other and are due to different factors. This approach is expected to provide a more complete perspective on the roles of users within a virtual community. Likewise, it is expected that it will be able to provide bases for strategies for the continued existence of virtual communities.

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