This paper explores the Instant Messaging phenomenon within the college sector—the first generation to grow up with the Internet. Drawing on the uses and gratifications approach and social presence theory, a survey of 443 IM users reveals five gratifications sought and obtained: social utility, interpersonal utility, convenience, entertainment/relaxation and information. The results also demonstrate the important role of social presence in IM use. The value of integrating social presence into the uses and gratifications paradigm and other theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Keywords— Instant messaging; social presence; uses and gratifications
Full Text: Ha Sung Hwang, Matthew Lombard