Academy of Finland 2012–2015. Principal Investigator: Matti Mäntymäki

The purpose of Digital Engagement project was to examine and better understand the values that drive people’s engagement in social media platforms and the values that result from people’s activities in these platforms. The studies conducted within the project focused on user behavior in digital media and freemium consumer behavior and business model. Within these areas, we investigated e.g. the gratifications driving young people’s sustained use of a social virtual world[1]. Furthermore, we scrutinized the consumer values driving teenagers’ purchasing of virtual items and premium subscriptions in a social virtual world employing the freemium business model[2]. Lastly, we examined the differences in the gratifications driving sustained engagement with a popular freemium music streaming service between the basic and premium users[3].

Within the Digital Engagement project, we also started to pay increasing attention to the dark side of social media. In particular, we got fascinated by the concepts of voyeurism and exhibitionism. We started to look into these concepts by examining them as gratifications people obtain from prosuming Facebook, i.e. producing and consuming content[4].

1. Mäntymäki, M. & Riemer, K. (2014). “Digital natives in social virtual worlds: A multi-method study of gratifications and social influences in Habbo Hotel”, International Journal of Information Management, Volume 34, Issue 2, April 2014, Pages 210-220
2. Mäntymäki, M. & Salo, J. (2015) “Why do teens spend real money in virtual worlds? A consumption values and developmental psychology perspective on virtual consumption”. International Journal of Information Management, Volume 35, Issue 1, February 2015, Pages 124-134
3.  Mäntymäki, M. & Islam, A.K.M.N. (2015). “Gratifications from using freemium music streaming services: Differences between basic and premium users”. International Confererence on Information Systems 2015, At Fort Worth, Texas
4. Mäntymäki, M. & Islam, A.K.M.N. (2014). “Voyeurism and Exhibitionism as Gratifications from Prosuming Facebook”. European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2014), At Tel Aviv, Israel