alexa Uses and Gratifications of Social Media: A Comparison of Facebook and Instant Messaging
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Author(s): Anabel QuanHaase, Alyson L Young

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Users have adopted a wide range of digital technologies into their communication repertoire. It remains unclear why they adopt multiple forms of communication instead of substituting one medium for another. It also raises the question: What type of need does each of these media fulfill? In the present article, the authors conduct comparative work that examines the gratifications obtained from Facebook with those from instant messaging. This comparison between media allows one to draw conclusions about how different social media fulfill user needs. Data were collected from undergraduate students through a multimethod study based on 77 surveys and 21 interviews. A factor analysis of gratifications obtained from Facebook revealed six key dimensions: pastime, affection, fashion, share problems, sociability, and social information. Comparative analysis showed that Facebook is about having fun and knowing about the social activities occurring in one’s social network, whereas instant messaging is geared more toward relationship maintenance and development. The authors discuss differences in the two technologies and outline a framework based on uses and gratifications theory as to why young people integrate numerous media into their communication habits.

This article was published in Bulletin of Science Technology Society and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

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