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Leiner, Dominik J.; Kobilke, Lara; Ruess, Christina; Brosius, Hans-Bernd (2018): Functional domains of social media platforms: Structuring the uses of Facebook to better understand its gratifications. In: Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 83: pp. 194-203
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Abstract

Social media pose serious challenges for uses-and-gratifications research, such as the entangled use of contemporary media services. This paper proposes a measurement approach which addresses this challenge. We build on the conceptualization of Facebook as a toolkit of features (Smock, Ellison, Lampe, & Wohn, 2011) in order to search for functional domains underlying the individual usage of Facebook features. These functional domains enable us to measure usage of social media in a differentiated and congruent way. To demonstrate the measure's heuristic power, we focus on the dichotomy between contributing and consuming social media content. Based on a survey with 482 Facebook users we find a user's contributiveness being related to specific gratification expectations, if and only if the measures control for a general bias of liking Facebook. We conclude that measuring social media usage by measuring the usage of distinct features can serve as valuable complement for uses-and-gratifications research.