Robinson, Tom, Clark Callahan, Kristoffer Boyle, Erica Rivera, & Janice Cho (2017, March). I ♥ FB: A Q-methodology analysis of why people ‘like’ Facebook. International Journal of Virtual Communities and Social Networking (IJVCSN), 9(2), art. 3. 16 pp. (doi: 10.4018/IJVCSN.2017040103)

Abstract: Virtually seductive qualities of identity sharing, content gratification, and ample social atmosphere have made Facebook the most popular social network, boasting 890 million daily users (“Facebook Reports Fourth Quarter,” 2015; Joinson, 2008; Orchard et al., 2014, Reinecke et al., 2014). Online social network studies largely overlook the individual, limiting the understanding of what exactly drives people to use, abuse, even become dependent on sites like Facebook. Based on the theory of uses and gratifications, Q methodology subjectively observes what draws users to Facebook, focusing specifically on Facebook user characteristics. Past studies neglect the existence of three of the four factor groups discovered in this study, making these effectually new discoveries for academia (Alloway, Runac, Quershi, & Kemp, 2014; Cheung, Chieu & Lee, 2011; Sheldon, 2008, Tosun, 2012; Yang & Brown, 2013). These findings increase understanding of online usage, even addiction, and will help cater future social networks to specific users.

Tom Robinson II <tom_robinson@byu.edu> is in the School of Communications, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT (USA).

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