The purpose of this paper is to elaborate on how people navigate the social media ecosystem and how they decide, which social network site (SNS) to use. To this end, the current study draws from uses and gratifications (U&G) theory to elicit and compare motives for the use of Facebook and Twitter and uses behavioral data to examine the findings in the context of technology non-use.
An online survey was administered to 232 Facebook users and the results were complemented with 12 usage variables collected via the Facebook application programing interface for the same users. Exploratory factor analysis identified and described the motives for using Facebook and Twitter and multiple regression models examined the relationships between the motives for using the two sites. A multivariate analysis of variance and a series of t-tests investigated the differences in actual behavior between Twitter users and non-users.
Results suggest that SNS users will use both sites to gratify their need for information, but will only do so for entertainment that has social characteristics. Furthermore, Facebook users that are more embedded in the site and use the site to support their offline life are more likely to also use Twitter.
The paper includes implications for SNS researchers, designers and managers by highlighting the motivational and behavioral differences between users of the two sites and the importance of technological affordances for understanding and explaining SNS selection.
This study extends previous cross-site U&G and non-use research by combining survey and behavioral data.
Funding: The work reported in this paper was partly supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia - FCT) research grant SFRH/BD/65908/2009.
Spiliotopoulos, T. and Oakley, I. (2020), "An exploration of motives and behavior across Facebook and Twitter", Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 201-222. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSIT-12-2019-0258Download as .RIS
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