Motives for social media use: Men promote themselves!

This is the second blogpost on the first wave of the longitudinal study. Last time, I reported which media use, this time, I answer the question why people use the different media.

Five motives were assessed for each class of social media: maintaining social contacts, self-presentation, for work, information seeking and staying up-to-date. Answers were given on 5-point scales.

motives for social media use


As can be seen in the Figure, Facebook is mainly used for maintaining social relationships and to stay up-to-date. LinkedIn is used for work and self-promotion, whereas twitter is mainly used to stay up-to-date. These results are not really surprising, but there were some difference between men and women.

differences between men and women

How men and women differ in their motives for social media use

Interestingly, men used Facebook and twitter more to promote themselves and for work than women did. On LinkedIn, men and women did not differ in these motives. However, men used LinkedIn more to maintain their social contacts. The effect for self-promotion were still significant if we controlled for work (yes vs. no). Moreover, the difference between men and women on the self-promotion motive on Facebook were even more pronounced for the non-working respondents and can thus not simply be explained with the fact that work and work-related self-promotion are more important for men.


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  1. Pingback: Longitudinal study, wave 2: Facebook users read more and post less; motivations for twitter usage change |

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