What Determines Young People to Follow Influencers? The Role of Perceived Information Quality and Trustworthiness on Users’ Following Intentions
Social media is associated with the rise of new types of celebrities called influencers, who share their current experiences and ideas and often endorse brands. Developing and keeping a large community of followers is one of the most important goals of influencers. The size of their audiences is one of the elements that make them relevant to the advertising industry. The main objective of the present research is to explore the mechanism that determines users’ online behavior related to influencers, such as following them on social media. Moreover, the study examined the role of the perceived information quality and of the perceived trust of the influencers in shaping audiences’ attitudes toward influencers. The moderating role of the frequency of Instagram and YouTube use on the relationship between perceived information quality and trustworthiness was explored by conducting an online survey (N=1088). The main takeaway from the study is that influencers who want to grow their audiences have to create perceived quality content. This can contribute to both positive attitudes and the development of trust. Also, the frequency of Instagram use has a small moderating role, while the frequency of YouTube use has no effects on the trustworthiness of the influencers.
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