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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Responding, asking, and reacting : the secondary communication activities in social network sites Papania, Francesco Daniele


Over two billion people use Facebook, the world’s largest social network site (SNS). Most SNS communication research to date focuses on primary communication (disclosure) within a SNS (e.g. Dinev and Hart 2006; Krasnova 2010, 2012; Norberg 2009; Pavlou 2011; Smith et al. 2011). I extend SNS communication research by examining secondary communication (asking, reacting, and responding). I extend the APCO (antecedents, privacy, outcomes) model (Smith et al. 2011) to ABCO (antecedents, costs, benefits, outcomes). I develop and test three models to explain, and gain insights about, secondary communication in SNSs. In study 1, I examine how feedback (likes and views) affects a SNS users intentions to disclose information in the future. My findings show that when a user receives positive feedback (likes) it affects his benefits more, whereas neutral feedback (views) affects his privacy concerns more; however, these effects are moderated significantly by audience closeness and information sensitivity. I proposed that a viewership feedback tool could increase transparency and help users to make more informed disclosure decisions, and reify the invisible audience (Bernstein et al. 2013). In study 2, I develop and test a model of SNS solicitation (asking for information or support) as social capital conversion. My results confirm that larger networks lead to larger perceived social capital but perceptions of social capital are not always predictive of information and support seeking intentions. Predicting mobilization requires a deeper understanding of how user traits and preferences lead to network formation and how user perceptions of privacy and impression management enable or disrupt conversion of social capital through mobilization intentions. I identity four solicitation archetypes based on network size/value, and solicitation intentions: the concerned user, the power user, the occasional user, and the habituated user. In study 3, I adopt social exchange theory (Emerson 1976) to show that when providing feedback to others, SNS users’ impression-management benefits are more important than privacy concerns, and—surprisingly—that providing anonymity inhibits providing feedback by lowering the impression-management benefits.

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