Why do people purchase virtual goods? A uses and gratification (U&G) theory perspective

Puneet Kaur, Amandeep Dhir, Sufen Chen, Areej Malibari, Mohammad Almotairi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
234 Downloads (Pure)


Few literature studies have investigated the relationships between different uses and gratifications (U&G) of mobile instant messaging (MIM), continuation, and purchase intentions. To address this gap, the researcher aimed to examine the influence of the content, social, process, and technology U&Gs of MIM, continuation intentions of MIM, and purchase intentions towards virtual goods. A comprehensive research model was developed based on the U&G theory, which was tested using cross-sectional data from 309 Japanese MIM users. The study considered six different U&Gs of MIM as independent variables and purchase intentions towards stickers and continuation intentions towards MIM as dependent variables. The study results suggest that exposure U&G has a significant positive association with MIM sticker purchase intentions. The entertainment and affection U&G are positively associated with continuation intentions towards MIM use. The study contributes to the literature by investigating six U&Gs that motivate MIM users to have both positive purchase intentions towards virtual goods, such as stickers, and continuation intentions toward MIMs. The study has significant theoretical and practical implications for both researchers and practitioners who are interested in virtual goods, the virtual economy, MIM apps, social media, new media, and the service economy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101376
JournalTelematics and Informatics
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Continuation intentions
  • mobile instant messaging
  • purchase intentions
  • social media
  • uses and gratifications

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