Consumers, Companies and Virtual Social Worlds: a Qualitative Analysis of Second Life

Andreas M. Kaplan, ESCP-EAP European School of Management, France
Michael Haenlein, ESCP-EAP European School of Management, France
In recent months, the virtual social world “Second Life” has received considerable interest in both the popular and the business press. Based on a series of 29 qualitative in-depth interviews we investigate which type of behavior consumers show within this environment and what business opportunities it offers for companies. Our results indicate that users do not consider Second Life as a mere computer game, but as an extension of their Real Life. This has implications for how marketing managers can use this online application that go beyond those known from traditional computer or online games.
[ to cite ]:
Andreas M. Kaplan and Michael Haenlein (2009) ,"Consumers, Companies and Virtual Social Worlds: a Qualitative Analysis of Second Life", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 873-873.