Uses and Gratifications of Social Networking Sites for Social Capital

Phua, Joe, Seunga Venus Jin, and Jihoon (Jay) Kim (2016), “Uses and Gratifications of Social Networking Sites for Social Capital: Comparing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat,” Presentation at the International Communication Association (ICA) Annual Conference, Fukuoka, Japan, June 2016.

Abstract: Applying uses and gratifications theory (UGT), this study examined users of four social networking sites (SNSs): Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, and their influence on online bridging and bonding social capital. Results (N = 297) indicated that Snapchat users scored highest for passing time, sharing problems, and gaining social knowledge, while Instagram users scored highest for showing affection, following fashion, and demonstrating sociability. Twitter users had the highest bridging social capital, followed by Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, while Snapchat users had the highest bonding social capital, followed by Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. SNS intensity, trust, tie strength, homophily, privacy concerns, introversion, and attention to social comparison also moderated the relationship between SNS use and bridging and bonding social capital. Implications for future research are discussed.

Joe Phua  Jihoon (Jay) Kim 

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