Title

Use of mobile social apps for public communication in China: Gratifications as antecedents of reposting articles from WeChat public accounts

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2018

Abstract

Mobile social networking apps, which offer a real-time platform for creating, sharing, and chatting, showcase the integration of mobile telephony and Web 2.0 technologies. Thanks to its thriving user-created public accounts, WeChat, a globally popular mobile social media app based in China, has become a digital source of news and information. Informed by the uses and gratifications framework, the present study examines predictors of reposting articles from WeChat public accounts and subscribing to these accounts. Findings show that use of WeChat for public communication is extensive. Predictors of such behavior include mass media and Internet use. Also, perceived credibility of WeChat is a significant predictor. With demographic and media use variables being controlled, two gratifications of WeChat (i.e., dependence on WeChat for information and mobile connectedness with one’s circles) were found to be the strongest predictors of reposting articles on WeChat public accounts. The theoretical implications of information mobility for changing China’s status quo in media environments are discussed.

Publication Name

Mobile Media and Communication

Volume Number

6

First Page

108

Last Page

126

Issue Number

1

DOI

10.1177/2050157917728100

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