Why People Join Social Network Sites Revised 4
Date of SubmissionWhy People Join Social Network Sites
Nowadays, the most popular social media platform is the social networking site. Individuals as well as organizations are using social network sites for various purposes. For instance, companies and startups are utilizing these sites to make profit. In addition to this, newspapers and TV channels are shifting to online forms. Researchers have conducted studies on the motivation behind the use of social networking sites around the world. This is through interviewing the users of these sites.
The main objective of this study was to do a systematic review of papers explaining what motivates people to use social networking sites. In addition to this, it reviews those that describe how the users determined these motivations by themselves.
To examine the reasons why people use social media, we followed the systematic guidelines found in Cochrane Handbook that explains how to conduct a systematic review.
We searched papers in ENISA database and Springer online library. In the ENISA database, we searched using the following words, ‘Facebook’, ‘WhatsApp’, ‘Instagram’ and ‘Twitter’. In the springer online library platform, we typed ‘social network site’, ‘reasons for using social network sites’, and’ social media’.
Identification of Studies
All the studies that we used entailed quantitative and qualitative review of studies about reasons for using social network sites. This involved identification and collation of relevant literature by conducting searches in databases containing information and communication technology literature through Google. Three members were assigned the job of reviewing the list to identify relevant articles. We worked together, analyzing every search result with the aim of identifying relevant work. The focus was not to pick all published social networking sites papers but scrolled through most of the literature in an organized manner to get the field’s overview.
We analyzed all the studies from the database using inclusion as well as exclusion criteria. We included only those papers that provide empirical studies on whypeople join social network sites. We defined online communities as a web-based service, which enable people to create a public profile in a bounded system, decide whom to connect with, and view connections made by others in the system. The study was supposed to include a detailed survey and interviews asking people why they were using social network sites.
Studies that just described individual social network sites without giving the number of users or reasons for using them were excluded. We did not consider even those studies that only gave the benefits and various uses of the internet.
The review only focused on what motivates people to join the various social network sites and, therefore, did not include the general use of the internet. Those works showing different application software, and their uses were also excluded. Research papers that showed different statistics of the users of these sites like the duration of use, age, and the date they joined were included. We divided all relevant studies in four categories, those that gives business related reasons, those that give personal reasons, those that gave both personal and business related reasons, those that analyzed at least 3 social network sites, and those that analyzed more than 3 social network sites. This is as shown in the table below.
Category Number of Studies
Business Related Reasons 3
Personal Reasons 4
Both Business and Personal related reasons 5
Analyzed at Least 3 SNSs 4
Analyzed more than 3 SNSs 4
When we found several papers having similar information about a certain social network site, we placed them in one category. In every study, all the reasons given by those interviewed for using social network sites were listed. We then grouped these reasons into different categories. It was possible to group one research paper in several categories. We worked in a group of three, comparing results with the interview we had conducted and correcting any discrepancies through negotiations and further analysis of the papers.
Most papers had approached the data collected from interviews using content analysis. This is mostly because this analysis is very useful in making inferences and describing the characteristics of patterns of usage and communications. In addition to this, it makes inferences about all consequences of communications.
In some research papers, the author had interviewed more than 5000 people. Therefore, there was a need to reduce this information to a more manageable portion. Out of this, the author selected 1000 statements that had the highest number of characters. The author assumed that those users took the time to read and understand the questions. Most of these papers provided open-ended questions to users. This made comparison very simple, and detecting errors was easy.