Viral Advertising in Social Media: Participation in Facebook Groups and Responses among College-Aged Users

Shu-Chuan Chu

In the past few years, social media have become perhaps the most popular communication channels for college-aged Internet users (Pelling and White 2009). As Kaplan and Haenlein (2010, p. 61) define them, social media are the “group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content.” As they have grown in both popularity and use, social media applications allow for classifications into more specific categories, determined by characteristics, such as content communities (e.g., YouTube), social networking sites (SNS; e.g., Facebook, MySpace), microblogging (e.g., Twitter), and virtual social worlds (e.g., Second Life) (Kaplan and Haenlein 2010; Mangold and Faulds 2009). Among the various applications and platforms, SNS and Facebook in particular have emerged as primary “hang outs” for young users.