Bernd W. Wirtz, Robert Piehler, Sebastian Ullrich


The technologies and functions of social media have significantly changed interaction on the Internet. These changes affect the perceived attractiveness of websites. Prior research regarding classic Internet offers has only partly considered these specifics. The determinants of attractive social media websites and corresponding online instruments remain under-investigated. Therefore, this study describes a conceptualization of website attractiveness in the context of social media and its relevance for potential usage. The research model was empirically tested by a standardized user survey (n=237) with the help of a structural equation model. The results show that social media website attractiveness is determined by the 2nd-order dimensions interaction orientation, social networking and user-added value. Moreover, a link to the intention to use social media offers can be established. Overall, the results shed light on the key aspects of users’ expectations towards the integration of social media into electronic commerce and provide insights into how the corresponding social media instruments are to be evaluated.

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February, 2013

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