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"Trust not too much to appearances"

Tekutova, Anna LU and Slanvetpan, Phanida LU (2013) BUSN39 20131
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Virtual communities, including communities dedicated to consumption practices, were named one of the rising modern trends. With the technological development, nowadays, people do not need actual locations to meet for being friends because multiple blooming social networks allow people to stay connected 24/7 no matter where they are in this world. This technological development has many positive effects on human kinds. It produces space without boundaries, place for opinion and knowledge sharing, convenience in shopping, etc.
Moreover, it provides a lot of opportunities for businesses as well in terms of WOM, brand awareness, image and loyalty, sales generation, etc. However, it potentially causes a lot of tensions between the... (More)
Virtual communities, including communities dedicated to consumption practices, were named one of the rising modern trends. With the technological development, nowadays, people do not need actual locations to meet for being friends because multiple blooming social networks allow people to stay connected 24/7 no matter where they are in this world. This technological development has many positive effects on human kinds. It produces space without boundaries, place for opinion and knowledge sharing, convenience in shopping, etc.
Moreover, it provides a lot of opportunities for businesses as well in terms of WOM, brand awareness, image and loyalty, sales generation, etc. However, it potentially causes a lot of tensions between the communities, which are seen as sources of honest and unbiased information about consumption related topics, and companies, which try to manipulate this information. One of the prominent examples of this phenomenon is YouTube Beauty Community, where members consider vloggers not only to be their friends, even though they have never met in real life, but also role models and experts in this particular consumption category. While some vloggers fail to build relationships with the viewers, others achieve incredibly high success because of their followers’ supports. In order to build follower base, vloggers need to declare and prove their honesty and trustworthiness to other community members. Thus, the purpose of this thesis is to investigate how trust is reproduced, built and maintained in this highly commercialized online community of consumption.

Design/methodology/approach – Netnography is a method, which was specifically designed for studying the needs, desires, tastes and behaviours of consumers who participate in online communities. Since trust is reproduced through communications, communications between the members of Beauty Community (videos, comments, channel information, other social networks used by Community members) will be explored.

Findings – We found out that the studied Community significantly differs from all the communities described in the literature in terms of structure, dispersion, boundaries, communications and interactions between the members. Thus, the trust building mechanism is also different. Prior studies on trust in the knowledge sharing communities suggest that the cognition-based trust is the highest level of trust. Our study suggests that in the communities, where main audience are teenagers, whose opinions and preferences are highly unstable, affective trust, based on the emotional affinity and similarity of backgrounds, is the first and necessary element of the trust building mechanism. Cognitive trust occurs together with the ability to critically evaluate available options, benefits and risks. (Less)
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author
Tekutova, Anna LU and Slanvetpan, Phanida LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Trust, Authenticity and Legitimacy in the YouTube Beauty Community
course
BUSN39 20131
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Virtual communities of consumption, opinion leadership, YouTube, Beauty Community, Trust
language
English
id
3799907
date added to LUP
2013-06-17 09:28:04
date last changed
2013-06-17 09:28:04
@misc{3799907,
  abstract     = {Virtual communities, including communities dedicated to consumption practices, were named one of the rising modern trends. With the technological development, nowadays, people do not need actual locations to meet for being friends because multiple blooming social networks allow people to stay connected 24/7 no matter where they are in this world. This technological development has many positive effects on human kinds. It produces space without boundaries, place for opinion and knowledge sharing, convenience in shopping, etc. 
Moreover, it provides a lot of opportunities for businesses as well in terms of WOM, brand awareness, image and loyalty, sales generation, etc. However, it potentially causes a lot of tensions between the communities, which are seen as sources of honest and unbiased information about consumption related topics, and companies, which try to manipulate this information. One of the prominent examples of this phenomenon is YouTube Beauty Community, where members consider vloggers not only to be their friends, even though they have never met in real life, but also role models and experts in this particular consumption category. While some vloggers fail to build relationships with the viewers, others achieve incredibly high success because of their followers’ supports. In order to build follower base, vloggers need to declare and prove their honesty and trustworthiness to other community members. Thus, the purpose of this thesis is to investigate how trust is reproduced, built and maintained in this highly commercialized online community of consumption.

Design/methodology/approach – Netnography is a method, which was specifically designed for studying the needs, desires, tastes and behaviours of consumers who participate in online communities. Since trust is reproduced through communications, communications between the members of Beauty Community (videos, comments, channel information, other social networks used by Community members) will be explored.

Findings – We found out that the studied Community significantly differs from all the communities described in the literature in terms of structure, dispersion, boundaries, communications and interactions between the members. Thus, the trust building mechanism is also different. Prior studies on trust in the knowledge sharing communities suggest that the cognition-based trust is the highest level of trust. Our study suggests that in the communities, where main audience are teenagers, whose opinions and preferences are highly unstable, affective trust, based on the emotional affinity and similarity of backgrounds, is the first and necessary element of the trust building mechanism. Cognitive trust occurs together with the ability to critically evaluate available options, benefits and risks.},
  author       = {Tekutova, Anna and Slanvetpan, Phanida},
  keyword      = {Virtual communities of consumption,opinion leadership,YouTube,Beauty Community,Trust},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {"Trust not too much to appearances"},
  year         = {2013},
}