Text Messaging

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Using the theory of planned behavior to explain teenagers' adoption of text messaging services

Per E. Pedersen
Professor
Agder University College
Email: per.pedersen@hia.no

Herbjørn Nysveen
Associate Professor
Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration
Email: herbjorn.nysveen@nhh.no

Abstract
Text messaging in the form of SMS has become one of the most successful mobile services in Europe, and the use of this service is now well integrated into the everyday life of young Europeans. To explain the widespread adoption of this service, findings from diffusion, uses and gratifications, information systems and domestication research are reviewed and integrated into a re-specified and extended model based upon the theory of planned behavior. The model is tested on a sample of young users of text messaging services. We conclude that the suggested respecifications and extensions are justified. The final model shows good fit and explains 74% of the variance in intention to use text messaging services. The results support including elements of enjoyment and expressiveness in models of text messaging adoption, show little support for

including subjective norm, and indicate that users may perceive some form of deficient selfregulation in the use of these services. The results also show interesting differences between the adoption models of male and female users.

1. Introduction
Users are now offered a variety of electronic messaging services with different forms of interactivity (e.g. synchronous vs. asynchronous), delivered over different electronic channels (e.g. traditional Internet vs. mobile networks) and with different levels of media richness (e.g. text vs. graphics-supported). Among these services, traditional email services, instant messaging, and text messaging services have been most widely adopted. While the adoption of email services have been widely studied applying traditional models of ICT-adoption and media use, instant messaging and, in particular, text messaging have been given less attention in traditional information systems (IS) research. Text messaging services in the form of SMS (Short Messaging Services) are now some of the most successful mobile services. SMS may be used for accessing mobile end-user services, but is most often used for mediating person-to-person communication using mobile terminals. This form of mediated communication is now a part of the everyday life of teenagers in most European countries. Explaining the adoption and use of these services is important in understanding the mediated communication of young people, but as these messaging services become widely adopted, their importance to the general user in professional and working life is also likely to increase (Grinter and Eldridge 2001). Our aim is to contribute to this understanding by proposing and empirically testing a model of young users' adoption of text messaging services.

Three research traditions have been identified of relevance to individuals' adoption of text messaging services. Uses and gratifications research (Blumler and Katz 1971) has its foundation in media and communication theory, and studies the gratifications sought by adopters of media of different kinds. Adoption (Davis 1989) and computer mediated communication (CMC) research (Webster and Trevino 1995) have their foundations in IS-research, and study the adoption and use of information and communication technology in general and in organizations in particular. Finally, domestication research (Silverstone and Hirsch 1992) has its foundation in sociology, and studies the adoption, use and domestication of technology in society with a particular focus on the societal consequences of technology domestication. Of these traditions, only uses and gratifications, and domestication research have been particularly occupied with studying mobile services. So far, few attempts have been made at integrating the findings of these...
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