MySpace and Facebook: Applying the Uses and Gratifications Theory to Exploring Friend-Networking Sites

Raacke, John; Bonds-Raacke, Jennifer
April 2008
CyberPsychology & Behavior;Apr2008, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p169
Academic Journal
The increased use of the Internet as a new tool in communication has changed the way people interact. This fact is even more evident in the recent development and use of friend-networking sites. However, no research has evaluated these sites and their impact on college students. Therefore, the present study was conducted to evaluate: (a) why people use these friend-networking sites, (b) what the characteristics are of the typical college user, and (c) what uses and gratifications are met by using these sites. Results indicated that the vast majority of college students are using these friend-networking sites for a significant portion of their day for reasons such as making new friends and locating old friends. Additionally, both men and women of traditional college age are equally engaging in this form of online communication with this result holding true for nearly all ethnic groups. Finally, results showed that many uses and gratifications are met by users (e.g., “keeping in touch with friends”). Results are discussed in light of the impact that friend-networking sites have on communication and social needs of college students.


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