Social networking sites (SNS) have become a significant component of people’s daily lives and have revolutionized the ways that business is conducted, from product development and marketing to operation and human resource management. However, there have been few systematic studies that ask why people use such systems. To try to determine why, we proposed a model based on uses and gratifications theory. Hypotheses were tested using PLS on data collected from 148 SNS users. We found that user utilitarian (rational and goal-oriented) gratifications of immediate access and coordination, hedonic (pleasure-oriented) gratifications of affection and leisure, and website social presence were positive predictors of SNS usage. While prior research focused on the hedonic use of SNS, we explored the predictive value of utilitarian factors in SNS. Based on these findings, we suggest a need to focus on the SNS functionalities to provide users with both utilitarian and hedonic gratifications, and suggest incorporating appropriate website features to help users evoke a sense of human contact in the SNS context.
Xu, Chenyan; Ryan, Sherry; Prybutok, Victor; and Wen, Chao, "It is not for fun: An examination of social network site usage" (2012). Faculty Research & Creative Activity. Paper 7.