Social support is the main motive for the use of Facebook, while Twitter usage focuses more on gaining new knowledge and seeking advice, suggests a new study which reviewed 10 years of research on social support via social networking sites.
Researchers at Michigan State University and San Diego State University in the US examined the role of social networks as avenues of social support and the dynamic relationship between the two.
They analysed the past 10 years of studies covering this topic with their findings serving as a starting point for identifying the frontiers of social support in social media research and potential directions for moving it forward in a meaningful and efficient way.
“Social networking sites (SNS) offer users an alternate avenue by which to gain access to social support,” said Brenda K Wiederhold from Interactive Media Institute in the US.
“In reviewing why patients use SNS, it appears that social support is the main motive for Facebook use, while Twitter usage focuses more on gaining new knowledge and seeking advice,” said Wiederhold.
The study was published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking.
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