Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.736054
Title: Commitment issues : toward an understanding of young people's social media choices in the multi-platform era
Author: Polonski, Vyacheslav
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 9807
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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Abstract:
Social network sites (SNSs) have become a common part of everyday life for billions of people worldwide. Not everyone uses the same sites, nor are sites functionally equivalent in the eyes of users. Both established platforms and new upstarts may provide novel features or access to new audiences, yet users tend to remain on a few dominant platforms, especially Facebook, the world's reigning social network site. The goal of the present study is to understand why people are committed to specific social network sites, given that no site encompasses either all of a person's social connections or all possible gratifications available from online participation. Further, individuals do not always wish to have a single real-name identity for all online interactions, thus implying the necessary use of multiple accounts or sites. To understand SNS commitment, this study employs a mixed-methods research design by combining findings from a survey of 800 respondents with 50 semi-structured interviews. The research focuses on young adults in the UK and their use of four popular SNSs: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Findings indicate that network size has only a marginal effect on commitment, whereas the effect of identity performance is more pronounced, albeit in different ways on different sites. Social and informational gratifications have the strongest effect across all four SNSs, suggesting that commitment is primarily driven by repeated habit-forming experiences. To further help explain SNS commitment, this thesis employs a typology of social media users based on attitudes towards digital technology. It is evident that attitudes explain more variation in commitment than either demographic factors or personality. Qualitative analysis reinforces this finding by showing how users employ specific gratification-based repertoires to determine which sites to use and when. These findings help advance research on affordances, self-presentation and SNS use, while also making practical recommendations for social media platforms.
Supervisor: Reed-Tsochas, Felix ; Hogan, Bernie Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council ; University of Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.736054  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social Network Sites Scholarship ; Computer-Mediated Communication ; Social networks ; Communications Research ; Social media choice ; Self-presentation ; Affordances ; Platform engagement ; Technology adoption ; Social networking ; Uses and gratifications
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