Instant Messaging and Social Network Sites: Combining Coopetition Strategies and Network Externalities

  • Maria Chiara Di Guasrdo
  • Gianfranco EnnasEmail author
Part of the Lecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation book series (LNISO, volume 2)


In recent years, Instant Messaging (IM) and Social Network Sites (SNS) have became the most important social platform for computer-mediated communication. This study proposes an integrated theoretical framework by combining network externalities and coopetition theory to investigate the strategic behavior of IM and SNS service providers. We show how firms generally coopete instead of competing in order to overcome local network externalities and avoid market segmentation, rival firms divide or partition the overall market into separate segments, with each firm selling to different segments. This indirectly produces network effects between competing products.


Local network externalities Coopetition Social networks Instant messaging 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CagliariCagliariItaly

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