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What’s App: a social capital perspective

Noa Aharony (Department of Information Science, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 9 February 2015




Based on the premises of Putnam’s bridging social capital, and on Ellison, Steinfield and Lampe’s notion of maintained social capital, the purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which the well-being variables of self-esteem and loneliness, as well as What’s App attitudes and intention to use variables, explain the social capital students gain from What’s App use.


The research was conducted in Israel during the second semester of the 2014 academic year and included 124 students from two major universities in Israel. Researchers used six questionnaires to gather data.


Findings confirm that the well-being variables, as well as What’s App attitudes and intention to use, affect the social capital students gain while using What’s App.


The findings of this study shed light on a new technological platform: What’s App that has rarely been examined to date. In addition, it expands the social capital and well-being perspectives to new media.



Aharony, N. (2015), "What’s App: a social capital perspective", Online Information Review, Vol. 39 No. 1, pp. 26-42.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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