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As a representative of virtual community, online social networks get rapid development, and become the "light spot" of the internet industry. Although online social networks gain rapid development, few researchers pay attention to the disciplinary of online social networks. In order to study the factors that influence the behavior intention of social networking users, a theoretical framework based on TAM is proposed, with introduction of four new variables, namely "Network externalities" "Realness" "Enjoyment" and "Trust". Then, through the collection of 302 samples from 4 colleges in Beijing, the theoretical model is empirically tested. The results of this research show that both Network externalities and Realness have significant positive impacts on behavior intention to use online social networks, but through completely different ways: Network externalities affects the intention by influencing Enjoyment and Usefulness positively, while Realness affects the intention by influencing Usefulness and Trust positively. The research result has important theoretical and practical significance for companies and researchers.
Date of Conference: 16-18 Sept. 2011