EFFECTS OF WEB 2.0 VERSUS WEB 1.0 AFFORDANCES ON CONSUMER PERCEPTIONS OF A COMPANY

Open Access
Author:
Smith, Lindsay Ann
Area of Honors:
Advertising/Public Relations
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • S. Shyam Sundar, Thesis Supervisor
  • Susan Mary Strohm, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Media Effects
  • Web 2.0
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Affordances
Abstract:
Technological advancements of the internet, collectively known as Web 2.0, allow for a greater level of interaction between users. Businesses are rapidly adopting Web2.0 applications such as social networking sites as marketing tools. Based on the affordance approach to new media technology, this study aims to understand the effect of technologies (Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0) on attitudes and perceptions of the consumer toward the company and toward the Web site. This research examines these issues by outlining literature on affordances of Web 2.0, comparing them to what is known of Web 1.0, and testing this comparison experimentally. The purpose of this study is establishing effects of interaction with consumers via social media and highlighting different affordances of Web 2.0 versus Web 1.0 media technologies. This research examines effects of exposure through new internet technologies, such as social media, on consumer perception of a company. A 2 (Web site type) x 2 (company) between-subjects experimental design uncovered an overall trend of no significant difference in effects of Web 1.0 versus Web 2.0. Results also revealed participants (n=82) in the Web 1.0 condition were more likely to feel engaged with the Web site, to have a more positive attitude toward the Web site (when controlling for pre-existing attitudes toward the company) and to have a more positive behavioral intention toward the Web site. The effect on behavior intention was mediated by attitude toward the Web site. Analyses also exposed an interaction between Web 1.0 versus Web 2.0 and assigned company on customer service measures. These results suggest that the effects of a business presence in social networking sites may be conditional to the perceived appropriateness and quality of a company’s Facebook use. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, leading to suggestions for directions of future research on the commercial effects of Web 2.0.