Rauwers, F., Voorveld, H. A. M., & Neijens, P. C. (2016). The effects of the integration of external and internal communication features in digital magazines on consumers’ magazine attitude. Computers in Human Behavior, 61, 454-462. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2016.03.042

Abstract:  This study investigates the effects of external and internal communication features on consumers’ digital magazine attitude, and the processes (i.e., perceived interactivity and social presence) underlying these effects. Both feature types enable communication between two or more people. Though, in the case of external communication features, the interactions take place outside the digital magazine (e.g., on Facebook), whereas in the case of internal communication features, the communication takes place inside the digital environment of the magazine. In a two-wave experiment with a 2 (external communication features: present/absent) × 2 (internal communication features: present/absent) between-subjects design, 192 participants were exposed to a digital tablet magazine in which the presence of interactive features was manipulated. The results show that digital magazines with either external or internal communication features are perceived as more interactive, which has a positive influence on consumers’ digital magazine attitude. The findings also reveal that – in contrast to external – internal communication features have the ability to enhance feelings of social presence, another process through which digital magazine attitude is positively affected. So, internal communication features improve consumers’ digital magazine attitude through two pathways (i.e., perceived interactivity and social presence), and external communication features only via one (i.e., perceived interactivity).

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