Motives and Uses of Facebook

This paper is about an investigation done by Adam N. Joinson on the uses of the Facebook and the gratifications users derive from those uses. The paper can be obtained through the following link:

http://people.bath.ac.uk/aj266/pubs_pdf/p1027-joinson.pdf

It was performed one study with two stages using two groups of Facebook users. The first stage was set up to see how they used Facebook and what they enjoyed about their use, having those results used on the execution of the second stage. Trough the study he found out that those users mainly used the site to “keep in touch” with friends, having only a small number of users that used it to make “new contacts”.

Another thing he found out was differences in uses depending on age, gender and occupation. On the gender side, the factors “social connection” (re-connecting with lost contacts and maintaining contact with existing friends) and “photographs” (posting and viewing of photographs) were more important to females than to males. Females were also more likely to have turned their profiles more private than males.

On the age side, he found out that age is correlated to the how much time had users been registered on Facebook, the regularity with which they visited, the number of hours they used the site in a week and the number of friends they had linked to their profile. In all of those cases, younger users were associated with a higher usage level and a bigger number of friends. In the privacy aspect, younger users were more likely to have increased the privacy of their profiles, maybe due to the higher number of friends amongst younger users.

The study also suggested that “keeping in touch” comprised two main functions. The first is a surveillance function, i.e., users use Facebook to see what old contacts and friends are ‘up to’, how they look and how they behave. The second is the social capital building gratification, where users use Facebook to build, invest and maintain ties with distant friends and contacts.

In conclusion, different demographic groups are motivated to use social networking sites for different purposes, with social connectivity and perpetual contact motivating younger (and female) users more than older (and male) users.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: