The purpose of this paper from the series “Monitoring the Media: Spotlight on Social Media Research” is to look into different approaches to study uses of social media platforms – from user statistics to motivations for using specific features within a platform.
Based on a literature review some general findings on social media usage are summarized alongside with examples of user activities that are rarely studied.
The paper concludes that social media research has neglected to question the use of more recent features in social media platforms, such as Twitter favorites or Facebook hashtags, as well as the more “destructive” activities in social networking such as unfollowing.
The paper draws attention to some features of popular social media platforms which are currently understudied. It raises awareness for these specific gaps in social media research and could inspire future studies to close the gap.
Weller, K. (2016), "Trying to understand social media users and usage: The forgotten features of social media platforms", Online Information Review, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 256-264. https://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-09-2015-0299
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